Factory Floor first formed following a series of Women’s Writing for Performance workshops at Lancaster University in 2006. Some or all of these workshops were attended by members of FF, so we met slowly, but regularly, and fairly intimately in a workshop context, over a period of 3 years.
The workshops culminated in a weekend symposium in April 2006, where we decided, at someone’s suggestion (was it Lena? Was it in the bar of the Nuffield over a whisky?!) that we would like to continue meeting in this way, and that we should make that happen! Lena and Kerstin were both finishing their PhD’s at Lancaster, and Kerstin was based there, so we exchanged email addresses, set a date and decided to meet later in the summer, and use the university’s facilities that were open to them then as post-graduate students.
We have functioned in much the same way ever since, using the space and occasional financial contributions towards travel/accommodation/food that our working relationships with (largely -educational) establishments can provide.
We all have our separate academic and creative projects and related research questions or areas of enquiry, but we come together to spend a weekend working in the same spaces.
It would seem there is an absolute necessity and creative luxury in setting aside a time and space to focus on your own creative work, or have a deadline to show a work-in-progress. To do this in an environment where other women of various backgrounds are doing the same, but without the pressure of funding criteria or academic deadlines, has proved invaluable to our creative development. A ‘Room of One’s Own’, without the isolation! We test ideas, discuss and show work-in-progress, share skills and information, and receive peer group feedback to help us develop our work.
What began as a largely work based relationship has of course also become social, in the tradition of the residential style workshops where we first met, but perhaps with more longevity, as we are self-organising and all so personally invested in the work that we produce within FF. We talk about our lives, relationships, health, work, children, sex, death, food, family, travel, study, home, art, politics etc. and despite a mixture of ages and backgrounds in the group, there is the shared context of working and socialising as women creative practitioners within this collective.
Factory Floor meetings to date:
Liverpool Hope University, June 2012
Cambridge (Kerstin’s Final Show & Farewell Party), January 2012
Chichester, November 2011
Suffolk, June 2011
Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, February 2011
Homotopia Festival, Liverpool, November 2010
Liverpool Hope University, June 2010
Chapter Arts, Cardiff (showcase), March 2010
The Bluecoat, Liverpool (showcase/open workshop), November 2009
ShowRoom Theatre, University of Chichester (showcase/ workshops), September 2009
Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, May 2009
Liverpool Hope University, February 2009
Manchester, November 2008
Anglia Ruskin University, May 2008
Manchester, November 2007
Liverpool Hope University, June 2007
Glamorgan University, April 2007
University of Chichester, November 2006
Lancaster University, July 2006