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

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.

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.

Ray Young

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, video designer Gillian Tan 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.

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

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
Video Designer, Gillian Tan
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): Rūta Irbīte
Dramaturg: Season Butler
Narrator: Flo Wilson
Climate Justice Consultant: Suzanne Dhaliwal

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.

©2022 Ray Young