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Arnolfini - est 1961

As part of Arnolfini’s Artist Development Programme, performance artist Jo Hellier has been developing her latest work Flood Plans in the Dark Studio.

Jo told us a bit more about her project and her working methods.

“The project is a collaboration between myself, Yas Clarke and Alice Tatton-Brown. I’m an artist who works within performance and installation and Yas is a musician/sound designer. We collaborate often to make sound led work that’s interactive in some way. Alice is a performance maker and she’s acting as dramaturg on this project, she’s amazing.” 

“This project is quite different from the rest of my work, it’s a choreography and sound based piece and explores the body and what sound does to the body. Usually I would work more with materials, objects or film to make a work. It’s a really exciting process because we get to work very intensely together and experiment for hours on end. A lot of the time is spent composing sound and listening to it in the dark, then making changes. We also improvise movement a lot. Yas isn’t a trained performer or mover and I’m not a trained composer so the process is kept fresh by the fact that we both bring something unpredictable to each other’s practice. I think we are both interested in making something that doesn’t feel static, a lot of the performance is improvised around a frame that we’ve decided in the studio, or around a kind of physical or sonic language we have created during the process. It’s fun, and also sometimes, of course, very difficult.” 

“The project is about climate change. It looks at the human relationship to nature and it explores the complex emotions and instincts that surround being a human in the midst of human caused climate change. It looks at human nature and our adaptability. We are questioning at the moment whether it is natural to adapt or more natural to be stubborn fuckers. In the piece we try to meet nature and reconcile our place within it. This exists for the audience through choreography and sound.” 

“It’s an experimental work and it’s great to have Arnolifni’s support to develop the piece before I show it at Forest Fringe in Edinburgh this summer.” 

Jo Hellier

Jo Hellier was given space at Arnolfini to support the development of her work through the Artist Development Programme. For more information, contact Ben Thomas on