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The Crypt Residency was a week-long group residency held in an arts space in the crypt beneath St Pancras church in Euston. The environment is intensely gothic, which suited me very well at the time; I was in the midst of writing my novel Anomaline, which has gothic themes running all the way through it. Here was a chance for me to live in my lone protagonist and to really embody her.
I turned the opportunity into something of a 'performative writing residency'. I spent the entire week in the chilly crypt, working in the dark, with visitors freely coming in and out as I and the other residents worked. I would turn the whole enterprise of writing into fiction - the author would be a character as much as the protagonist. The writing process was staged, and made palpable for public viewing. To do this, I created several 'stations' in the chambers of the crypt, for different activities: writing, reading aloud, screening, and dancing. By the end of the week, I had written a chapter of my novel, as well as made a series of 'nowhere pages' - illustrated pages of the novel that will never really appear in the finished work. I spent time stalking the shadowy passageways imagining I was my character, and occasionally breaking out into dance. I also screened some earlier, gothic-themed video work throughout the crypt. It was an experimental period in which I mixed a number of projects I was working on at the time into one space.
The Crypt, London
10 - 16 October 2016
I stalked these passageways in the guise of my novel's protagonist, occasionally breaking into dance.
The writing station.
The reading station.
Work in progress at the writing station.
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