#dawnchorus365 – collaborative experiments in text, time and Twitter

Excited about our latest SAW project. Here’s some more information. Please check it out if you haven’t already.

 Artist collective Seven Art Writers is pleased to announce the launch of #dawnchorus365 – a yearlong collaborative artwork commissioned by Fermynwoods Contemporary Art. 

 Launched on 15 November 2013 at http://www.dawnchorus365.com, this online artwork reinterprets the dawn chorus, every day for a year. Each morning #dawnchorus365 will perform a ‘chorus’ of tweets during the dawn hours. The tweets combine with a visual representation of the changing light conditions and the locations of the SAW artists.

 #dawnchorus365 reinterprets birdsong at dawn, which is thought to be for defence of territory, redrawing boundaries after the cold night when many birds perish. The work is an artistic intervention into Twitter and its relationship to public space, geography and identity.

 The artwork will perform the tweets to fit the precise timings of dawn on each day of the year.  On 15 November 2013 the work will begin with first light at 5.25am and conclude with sunrise at 7.25am; on 15 May 2014 it will play from 1.54am to 5.09am.

 In addition to the SAW artists, anyone with a Twitter account can contribute by tweeting to #dawnchorus365. Their tweets will then be accumulated into the online artwork the following dawn. As a result, the project will build an international and virtual performed text that explores the meaning of dawn in the digital environment. 

 “The content of the writing will shift with the light; we’ll be making live observations about the time and place where each of us is situated. We will be in different cities and rural locations spread across the UK – Sheffield, New Forest, London, Oxford, Dunfermline and in Fermyn Woods. We will watch, listen and sense the environment out of hours, and craft tweets from our observations and explore language in relation to this. At other times we will respond to each other – stealing phrases from each other’s tweets and reworking them live,” said Natasha Vicars from SAW.

 #dawnchorus365 was commissioned by Fermynwoods Contemporary Art as an individual work for their fourth annual online exhibition, this year exploring different ways that we engage with our own social, urban and rural environments.

 The online artwork will use colour, space and text to present the ‘chorus’ of tweets.  Each daily performance will only be visible during the hours of dawn GMT. SAW collaborated with creative technologists Wired Canvas to develop a dedicated microsite to present the artwork.

 #dawnchorus365 will be online from 15th November dawn at http://www.dawnchorus365.com

 For more information on SAW please see www.sevenartwriters.co.uk, or contact info@sevenartwriters.co.uk


Editors notes

Seven Art Writers collective (SAW)

SAW is a collective of seven practitioners who draw on disciplines of art writing and live art and address the qualities of Twitter as a creative tool for writing and a space of public discourse. They are Joanna Brown, Tifffany Charrington, Eddy Dreadnought, Sally Labern, Tamarin Norwood, Mary Paterson and Natasha Vicars. http://www.sevenartwriters.co.uk


The artwork is the latest development of #dawnchorus, a series of live, collaborative performances devised by Natasha Vicars as part ofthe SAW collective (Natasha Vicars, Mary Paterson, Tamarin Norwood, Sally Labern, Eddy Dreadnought, Tifffany Charrington and Joanna Brown).

 #dawnchorus was first developed in 2011 with support from the Live Art Development Agency and Text Festival, Bury, and has since been commissioned by Vox Populi, Chelsea Fringe, and the National Trust’s London Project.  In June 2013 SAW performed #dawnchorus at six National Trust properties across London and Keats House, and included contributions from the first official Canal Laureate, Jo Bell.  In October 2013, two transcripts of previous performances will be published as original texts in forthcoming editions of The Live Art Almanac (Live Art Development Agency and Oberon Books) and Performance Research Journal, On Writing & Digital Media.   

 Fermynwoods Contemporary Art

Fermynwoods Contemporary Art is an independent arts organisation that works with artists and audiences to develop a programme that explores and reflects on art and ecology to enhance understanding and engagement with these environments. The project has been funded by Arts Council England. http://www.fermynwoods.co.uk

 Wired Canvas

Wired Canvas are a small but perfectly formed design studio based in London. We come from arts backgrounds and pride ourselves in providing a unique insight into design for the creative industries. http://www.wiredcanvas.com



we will mend on the highways – Epic Festival 2nd November

On Friday the second of November I will be performing we will mend on the highways as part of the Epic Festival at Cumbernauld Theatre

I will be part of a double bill with Jenna Watt’s solo show Flaneurs.

More information is available on Facebook and on Cumbernauld Theatre’s website

‘Our lives don’t really belong to us, you see- they belong to the world, and in spite of our efforts to make sense of it, the world is a place beyond our understanding.’   Paul Auster

Basing my performance around the question ‘how do you go about finding the thing the nature of which is unknown to you?’ I demonstrate a pilgrimage for the audience, tell tales of navigation, let a whale guide me through the performance, walk the length of the whale and send a postcard from where the bottom of its right fin meets its body, send a toy steam boat on its way, travel with a Japanese business man to his crying club and re-enact a shipwreck.

With ‘we will mend on the highways’ I am attempting to explore the space in-between the beginning and the end, to find sense and completion within the unfinished journey. This performance is an exploration of what we do not know or rather ‘what we do not know we know’, of effort, attainment and perspective and our attempts to take root and place ourselves in the world around us. 

Fri, 2nd November 2012


Cumbernauld Theatre
G67 2BN






New scratch performance- ‘Donald, oh Donald, how do I love thee.’

I will be performing a small scratch performance called ‘Donald, oh Donald, how do I love thee’ at the Battersea Arts Centre on Friday the 14th October. I will be performing at some point after 9 pm. Please book a ticket for the 9 pm slot if you are interested in coming along. It is pay what you can but they suggest a donation of £5.00.  

‘Donald, oh Donald. How do I love thee’ is one of a series of vignettes which, when finished, will make up a performance called par excellence.

par excellence takes its starting point from the following text by Michel Foucault: ‘the ship is a piece of floating space, a placeless place, that lives by its own devices, that is self-enclosed and, at the same time, delivered over to the boundless expanse of the ocean(….)The ship is the heterotopia par excellence. In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates. ’

‘Donald, oh Donald, How do I love thee’ will be based around the life of Donald Crowhurst, an inexperienced English sailor who faced difficulties while taking part in a round the world boat race and so faked his position so that it would appear to the outside world that he was winning when in actual fact he had never left the Atlantic Ocean. His boat was later found empty and Crowhurst is suspected to have committed suicide as he fell deeper into insanity and succumbed to time madness.

For more information please see the attached flyer from BAC. You can also email me if you have any questions. 


I am currently involved in an online writing project. Please sign up or log into Twitter to view/ read this project on Monday the 16th October. More information below.

#dawnchorus  – tweeting the dawn – will be performed at dawn on Sunday 16th October 2011 (approximately 5:35am to 8am) on Twitter.  Participating writers are: Amber Massie-Bloomfield, Joanna Brown,Tiffany Charrington, Eddy Dreadnought, Sally Labern, Tamarin Norwood, Mary Paterson and Natasha Vicars.  #dawnchorus is conceived by Natasha Vicars and developed in collaboration with Mary Paterson and the writers, as part of the Live Art Development Agency’s DIY6 programme.  For more information, please email natashavicars@gmail.com, or see us on Twitter. 

Scratch Performance of par excellence – 24th June

I will be performing a scratch of my new show par excellence on June 24th at Emerge, Leeds. For details see here.

 Friday 24th June 20.00-23.00
 Seven Arts                            
 31(a) Harrogate Rd                                                                                                                            Chapel Allerton                                                                                                                                    Leeds                                                                                                                                                      LS7 3PD

£3.00 on the door

4 theatre makers share their work in its early stages of development:

Whiteface Theatre (Gemma Head) – Terminal
Emma Decent – Beyond dreams of Aberystwyth
Pinch Dance Theatre (Isabelle Cressy) – Flog
Joanna Brown – par excellence

par excellence takes its starting point from the following text by Michel Foucault:

‘the ship is a piece of floating space, a placeless place, that lives by its own devices, that is self-enclosed and, at the same time, delivered over to the boundless expanse of the ocean(….)The ship is the heterotopia par excellence. In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates. ’

Using myself, a cardboard boat and some bubbles I take Foucault’s text to its literal extreme and try to create the placeless place of the ship in order to form a collective dream with my audience thus bringing issues of liveness and eventfulness into play and questions of what it means to be placed and displaced in society today.

I am interested in the trip to something other to come back to the self and the romantic cliché of the boat , the yearly appearance of nautical fashion, the Sunday afternoon boat ride in the park with a lover, the boat as escapism and discovery contrasted with the harsh realities of the modern day sailor, the wonder of the ocean’s vista contrasted with the uncertainty of a no-man’s land and Foucault’s place to dream contrasted with Marco Polo’s statement that ‘the man who goes to sea is a man in despair’.