Jill Greenhalgh and Mike Brookes
water[war]s represents the long term development of a collaborative performance and installation project by Jill Greenhalgh and Mike Brookes; their second major performance collaboration, having conceived and created the performance and installation work child, produced by The Magdalena Project, in 1996. Again they attempt to address and debate the intuitive personal responses arising from an overtly political concern, through the production and presentation of performance work, and the construction of specific durational environments - as sculptural intervention, context and temporary forum for this address. They propose to develop the work across a progression of commissioned residencies; structured to allow the inclusion of local practitioners and an appropriate response to the requirements and realities of each individual platform. The idea emerged at the Br/leeding Ground Project in Cardiff, October 1999 - an event which brought artists together to confront and explore the efficacy of art in a time of political conflict.
The title and choice of theme are synonymous, and arose from a question, and an answer, that haunts the director:
"... and over what will be the wars of the next millenium? Not of land, nor of oil, nor of gold, but of water."
Jill Greenhalgh has been a professional theatre maker for 27 years. She has travelled and worked extensively within Europe, Australasia and the Americas. Her career across this period - as a producer, director, performer, and teacher. In 1986 she founded the Magdalena Project International Network of Women in Contemporary Theatre and has remained its artistic director since. Her current performance projects include The Water[war]s - a long term investigation in collaboration with different groups of women performers across the globe and Las Sin Tierra - & attempted crossings of the Straits of Gibraltar which she directed for Nomad Theatre of Spain, in collaboration with Mike Brookes. She has recently taken up the post of Lecturer in Performance Studies at the University of Wales - Aberystwyth. She is married, has two young daughters and lives on the west coast of rural Wales.
Mike Brookes is an artist, and designer. Born in the north of England, where he lived and studied until moving to South Wales to further his training in the early eighties. Here he continued to develop a studio based practice of object and time based media centred around his activities as a painter; while increasingly reconnecting with the immediate possibilities of performance through contact and involvement with the experimental contemporary performance practice of companies such as Cardiff Laboratory Theatre, Moving Being and Brith Gof.
By the early nineties he was based within the, then internationally renowned, theatre department of Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff; and over the subsequent ten years worked and collaborated extensively within contemporary theatre, both in Wales and abroad. This work included the design and staging of productions for many of Wales' leading performers and performance companies, the realisation of a variety of notable international theatre and dance projects, and resulted in a wide spread reputation for his activities as a stage and lighting designer.
This work has provoked the use and integration of elements as diverse as photography, large scale projection, short-range and satellite radio broadcast technology, mobile telecommunications, helicopters, cars, trains, surveillance camera and monitoring equipment, the employment of software led tools in creation and control, and a continual reassessment of the definition and constitution of both event and performance space. He is currently living on the rural west coast of Wales; and has recently been appointed Tutor in Scenographic and Performance Studies, within the department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.