I often collaborate with other partners in crime, including visual artists, musicians, composers, film makers and animators, creating multi-media performance work, films, books and exhibitions. The latest of these have explored folktales from Lancashire, and a performance piece looking at where real life meets folklore on the Isle of Arran.
Where We Land: A Storied Isle
Written and performed by Jacqueline Harris
Music composed and performed by Lee Affen
Film and live projection by Graham Kay
A storyteller left Lancashire to live on the Isle of Arran off the west coast of Scotland. These are the stories she found there.
The show is an intimate and immersive multimedia storytelling experience that uses spoken word, recorded interviews, film, projection and both a live and recorded original musical score to create a space of shared storytelling and story making. It weaves real life recorded stories, folktale and autobiography into a single narrative encouraging us to question the relationships between our personal stories, the landscapes we inhabit and the lives we live there. It is an exploration of the edges where reality and imagination blur, and what happens as we walk with one foot in each.
We took an early version of this show to Edinburgh Fringe at The Scottish Storytelling Centre.
"I was seduced and then spellbound"
"A beautiful interweaving of folklore, personal story and landscape."
When I lived on the Isle of Arran I talked to and recorded local people. I asked them what Arran meant to them. We shared old and new tales, from Pat William’s tale of a healing landscape to Peter Finlay telling me how he used to be terrified of the ‘Ghostie House’ at High Corrie, where the witch with the long red tongue lived. With this wonderful material, and together with a group of local Arraners: Sheila Gilmore, David Napier, Rory Morrison and Shannon Galbraith, we wove together an evening of stories, both live and recorded, and performed at The Altachorvie Hotel in Lamlash.
Everyone I spoke to for this project amazed and inspired me with their stories and generosity.
By bringing the old local tales into the present and combining them with new stories, it’s possible to catch a glimpse of the huge part that stories, both real and imagined, play in our everyday lives, and how they reflect the landscape in which we live.
Gathered Tales of Lancashire
A collaboration between Jacqueline Harris and Graham Kay, of Fully Formed Films
I had set off on a mission to talk to people across Lancashire and discover the stories that are being told now of strange or odd happenings or experiences. Before long we were following leads across the county, having unexpected conversations on station platforms and chance meetings in cafes and libraries. These led to tales of haunted taxis and ghostly bikers.
What struck me most was the resonances they had with the old tales of Lancashire. Together we developed a film of different voices that allowed us to play with the stories, the tellers and the 21st century Lancashire landscape.
It was made for the collaborative exhibition of contemporary art, “The King of the Cats”, that explored Lancashire folklore and toured for two years.
The King of the Cats and Other Lancashire Stories
This is the book that accompanied the "King of the Cats" exhibition.
Writer: Jacqueline Harris Artists: Marjan Wouda, Chris Rainham, Julie Miles and Patricia Ramsden
Click on the headings below to read excerpts, sample stories and see the artwork:
In Skriker's Footsteps
Created and performed by Jacqueline Harris
Art and Sculpture by Marjan Wouda
Animation and projection by Adam York Gregory
Skrikers, white dobbies and spectral cats stalk the walls as old and new stories from Lancashire, both real and imagined, come to life in words and moving image.
The show toured in England and was also part of the Dingle music and arts festival, 'Feile Na Bealtaine' in Ireland.
“Excellent vibrant storytelling”
“The atmosphere was otherworldly.”
"Super show – love the mix of projection, ceramics, collage and story."
Stan's Accidental Adventure
Story book for 3-6 year olds commissioned by the Museum of Lancashire and illustrated by Anya Goulden to highlight their collection to young children.
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