a photograph of a crouching figuring, the artist Luke Pell, drawing on the ground

In 2020-21, Hospitalfield have commissioned Luke Pell four months of Studio Time in order to develop ideas for new work to be presented with Hospitalfield in the 2021-2 Programme.

Fascinated by detail, nuances of time, texture, memory and landscape Luke Pell is an artist based in Scotland who makes work across forms, through conversation with people and place, imagining alternative contexts for performance, participation and discourse that might reveal wisdoms for living. Working with words and movements – words as movements – to draw together seemingly unrelated constellations of bodies and thought, their practice takes form as intimate encounters: poetic objects, installations, performance/writing and designed environments – choreographies in print and in person.

Deliberately collaborative, deeply dyspraxic, unashamedly tender, radically soft, unapologetically gentle and quietly queer Luke Pell’s work has been presented throughout the UK and internationally including: Bloomsbury Festival; Cruising for Art at Anti- Festival Finland and In Between Time Bristol; Edinburgh International Book Festival; Dance International Glasgow at Tramway; Take Me Somewhere Glasgow; Dansens Hus Stockholm; E-Motional Romania; LeithLate Edinburgh; Light Moves Ireland; Luminate Festival Scotland; Unlimited Festival Southbank Centre; StAnza International Poetry Festival and I’m With You for Room of Requirement Berlin. He has also performed for Rosemary Lee, Janice Parker, DIVE Queer Party, Naked Boys Reading and more recently as a guest writer in James Ley’s Love Song for Lavender Menace at The Lyceum, Edinburgh and with Oasissy at Queer Theory, Glasgow and Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Luke’s growing body of choreographic and poetic writing features in publications: In Other Words from Metal, the Live Art Development Agency and Necessity; with Lucy Cash in Dostoyevsky Wannabe Cities – Glasgow Edition edited by Colin Herd and Ruthie Kennedy; Dance, Disability, Law – Invisible Difference from Intellect Books and; with Caroline Bowditch in Access All Areas – Live Art & Disability also from the Live Art Development Agency. He was co-editor for the Embodiment, Interactivity and Digital Performance edition of the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices.

Choreographic works for screen include the award-wining Take Me To Bed with Jo Verrent, An Open Field with Fevered Sleep, A Long Side with Lucy Cash and Emilyn Claid and the forthcoming cine-poem Yellow Touching (Blue), also made with Lucy Cash with support from the Edwin Morgan Second Life Awards.

“Over time I’ve described myself as maker, curator, dramaturg, writer – neurodivergent, queer. At heart, I would say I’m a poet – engaged in choreographic thinking”

Luke is an Associate Artist with Fevered Sleep and Dance Base, Scotland and also creates work with Lucy Cash through their collaborative enquiry Phos.’

Over the 2021-22  Luke Pell is developing a new work for Hospitalfield’s garden. Inspired by the obsolete word respair – meaning a return to hope – Luke’s project has begun with a series of workshops in collaboration with Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust.

In June and July, Luke hosted a series of weekly online workshops with people living with long-term health conditions, coming together to make new writing; images; and choreographic encounters through conversation. By working with text and time and touch to explore what respair – in this moment – might mean for them.

On Friday 30 July 2021 artist Luke Pell was in conversation with Karine Neill and Chris Kelly from Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust about the work they do; different ideas and practices of care; and the part they believe artmaking and creativity play in community, connection; recovery and wellbeing.

This conversation was followed by an early evening wander through the garden following a gentle score for paying attention, differently, offered by Luke. Much like a musical score this is a method used by Pell to provide simple written instructions that invite moving through the garden with a particular quality of attention and choreographic direction.

You can listen to the talk again here.