On the Couch with Lauren Watson

Lauren-Watson-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Lauren Watson?
Lauren Watson is a movement based contemporary circus artist living with a disability on the Gold Coast. My passion in movement based practices stems from stretching and pulling the body in unexpected directions to discover new pathways and journeys. As all bodies are different, it is important in my practice to discover more than one way to move a certain way and I always am on the hunt for something new and exciting.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
From where I began to where I a now, I think I would really stress and put into practice more rest and self care. It can be difficult when you are passionate about something to take time to let your body recover especially when you are involved in such physical practices like circus. Even machines need maintenance from time to time so why would I not do this for myself. That would be what I would do differently and have started to put into practice.

Who inspires you and why?
I am often inspired by hotel rooms and each one I stay in has a story to tell, not only by the people who were once there but my response to the room and how I will experience it on my journey. It is a strange thing to be inspired by but when travelling often I find myself developing new ideas when I am alone in a new space. I came up with the idea for my solo show Nerve in a hotel room when I was struggling with some pain and couldn’t leave so it is more what inspires me rather than who.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I fight hard for access and inclusion in the arts and how we can start making space for us to flourish too. There are a lot of misconceptions about disabled artist such as “we didn’t have any audition” when really we should be asking ourselves why this is: often its the lack of teaching and learning institutions not knowing how to adapt and that is where we should all start.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I love going to London, it is one of my favourite places to be. There is something about it being old that I find fascinating and tend to spend my time getting lost and discovering old churches and buildings. I found one the last time I was there (2019) that was so majestic I couldn’t capture it in film. I love a concrete jungle at times, cities are alive in a different way than the country where is where I grew up.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I am always getting my family to come and try circus especially the younger ones because it is not something available to the where they live in the country. If there is a great show on at Home of the Arts (HOTA), I would take them to go see something spectacular or to my favourite beach where I like to snorkel. My family enjoy nature like I do and so we tend to spend time exploring the mountains and beaches.

What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Incarner Une Abstraction by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, which is a book speaks about her practice and the art of abstraction in movement. The first part is written in French with the second part written in English so you can still enjoy her reflections of past work to where she is now. Her work has greatly resonated with me and while the book is short, I so far have gained a wealth of knowledge into how she makes work.

What are you currently listening to?
I prefer to listen to instrumentals but right now I am enjoying the sounds of nature around me rather than trying to drown it out with other sounds. I have a beautiful flock of birds that come visit in the afternoons and it is so lovely to work while they are chatting in the background.

Happiness is?
Accepting that you are who you are and there is something special about that. I find happiness the most when I am on stage, there is no other feeling like making people smile, laugh or cry.

What does the future hold for you?
I hope the future holds more opportunities to grow my practice and create space for other artist with disabilities to come up into the contemporary circus world. I would love to have someone to pass the torch too.

Lauren can be seen in RADIAL – which will be presented on 19 August at Burleigh Brewing as part of the 2022 Bleach* Festival. For more information, visit: www.bleachfestival.com.au for details.

Image: Lauren Watson (supplied)