BODIES and THIRST TRAP by Ray Young - FAD Magazine

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Ray Young THIRST TRAP Image by Nick-Coby

Award-winning multi-disciplinary artist Ray Young has today launched their groundbreaking commissioned work BODIES, and newly relaunched work THIRST TRAP. These are companion pieces that act as expansive art installations that explore our human, bodily and sensory connection with water, juxtaposed with the ongoing climate emergency and neurodiversity. BODIES has been commissioned by Unlimited and will tour across the UK, premiering at the Unlimited festival at the Southbank Centre on 8th September, along with its sister project THIRST TRAP.

Ray Young BODIES Lead Image photography by Layla-Sailor

BODIES is a sound and performance installation that will take place in swimming pools across the UK, and THIRST TRAP is part-narrative and part-meditation, a 30 min sound piece for audiences to listen to in the bath. Audiences are invited into the indoor pool for an active, sensory experience of water, discovery and rest. This immersive water, light and soundscape environment investigates the embodied experiences of our relationships with water. BODIES will continue Ray Young’s investigation into water as a key character in our collective conversations on climate justice.

BODIES has been created in collaboration with director Gail Babb, movement director Nandi Bhebe, dramaturg Season Butler, designer Naomi Kuyck-Cohen, lighting designer Nao Nagai and sound designer Alicia Jane Turner. 

A sister piece to BODIES, THIRST TRAP invites audiences to experience a sensory soundscape from their own bathtub. Audiences receive an experience pack of resources to change their physical environment, connecting closely with their personal atmosphere and relationship with their bodies.

Ray Young THIRST TRAP Image by Nick Coby

THIRST TRAP delves into the possible outcomes of rising temperatures and the correlation between social and climate justice. THIRST TRAP continues Young’s investigation into our relationship with water as a key character in our collective conversations on climate justice, and the dichotomy of water’s elemental power to create and destroy, and man’s ability to do the same.

Ray Young said:

Having recently received an ADD diagnosis, it felt important for me to consider this as I returned back to work. Having spent many years masking or just feeling less-than. So over the past year alongside my team who have various neurodiversities, we have put systems in place to decenter neurotypical working practices and celebrate and accommodate our differences. BODIES felt like an opportunity to carry the process into my practice, creating a work that holds the complexities of difference at its core to create a sensory embodied experience. 

I’ve often felt that the climate conversations exclude global majority voices, which feels strange to me as it is often these communities in the global south who are most affected by the actions of those living in the global south. For me climate justice and social justice are one and the same, we can not achieve one without the other, so without the inclusion of those who have a lived experience of social injustice change feels a long way off. BODIES offers an opportunity for reflection, both a mental and physical level

‘They said with wonder and admiration, you are still alive, like hydrogen, like oxygen.’

Dionne Brand, An Ars Poetica from The Blue Clerk

8th September, London: BODIES premiere and THIRST TRAP launch at Unlimited festival, Southbank Centre / Leytonstone Leisure Centre
10th-25th September, Dublin:
THIRST TRAP at Dublin Fringe Festival
TBC September, Liverpool: THIRST TRAP at Everyman and Playhouse
22nd September, Cambridge:
BODIES at Cambridge Junction / Abbey Pool                                                        27th October, Leeds: BODIES at Bramley Baths

BODIES credits:

Lead Artist and Narrator: Ray Young
Director: Gail Babb
Dramaturg: Season Butler
Lighting Designer: Nao Nagai
Sound Designer: Alicia Jane Turner
Movement Director: Nandi Bhebe
Designer: Naomi Kuyck-Cohen
Decompression Space Web Design: Tim Jukes
Executive Producer: Nancy May Roberts
Producer: Lucia Fortune-Ely
Access Assistants: Mable Cable and Princess Bestman 

Production Manager: Lindley Productions 

BODIES is commissioned by Unlimited, and supported by Southbank Centre, Waltham Forest Council, Cambridge Junction, Cambridge City Council Cultural Services and Recreation Services, and Leeds City Council and the Leeds Inspire Grant. 

THIRST TRAP credits:

Writer and Creator: Ray Young 

Producer: Nancy May Roberts

Production Management: Lindley Productions

Sound Designer: Alicia Jane Turner 

Original Designer (2020): Rosie Elnile 

Designer (2022): R?ta Irb?te

Dramaturg: Season Butler 

Narrator: Flo Wilson

Climate Justice Consultant: Suzanne Dhaliwal  

About Ray Young: 

Ray Young is an award-winning artist and writer based between Nottingham and London. Their transdisciplinary practice exists on the boundaries of live art, text, movement, activism and neurodiversity. Their work provides a shelter from which to explore the multiplicities of their lived experience. They use their evolving practice to hold space for those at the intersection of multiple realities championing and centring alternative narratives and forms. 

Ray is a recipient of the Jerwood Live Work Fund and was the inaugural winner of the Eclipse Award, which supported Edinburgh Fringe 2019 runs of NIGHTCLUBBING and OUT, where both shows were nominated for Total Theatre awards, and Ray was named the British Council’s Artist to Watch. Ray is Associate Artist with Something to Aim For. 

Recent works include THIRST TRAP (Fuel), an audio experience exploring the climate crisis; Living Newspaper Edition 6 (Royal Court), Herstory (Brighton Festival), a visual audio experience as part of Brighton Festival; BLACKLASH (Gate Theatre), a series of informal discussions providing Black Artists with a chance to reflect on their practice and their position within the wider arts sector and My White Best Friend (Royal Court). Their work is presented widely across the UK and internationally, including at The Place, The Yard, Skopje Pride, Live Collision (Dublin), Theatre de L’Usine (Geneva) and ImPulsTanz (Vienna International Dance Festival).  rachaelyoung.org Ray Young Twitter/Instagram @Rachaelraymck 

About Unlimited: 

Unlimited is an arts commissioning body that supports, funds and promotes new work by disabled artists for UK and international audiences. Our mission is to commission extraordinary work from disabled artists that will change and challenge the world. Funded by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and British Council, since 2013, Unlimited has supported over 460 artists with over £4.9 million reaching audiences of over 5 million making it the largest supporter of disabled artists world-wide. weareunlimited.org.uk 

THIRST TRAP is funded the National Lottery Grant Arts Council England, with support from Cambridge Junction, Dublin Fringe Festival, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and Southbank Centre.




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