Artist Alex Culshaw, originally from Ripon, is producing and installing a visual arts piece for the city
Artist Alex Culshaw, originally from Ripon, is producing and installing a visual arts piece for the city

The Ripon Ripple an arts project that shines a spotlight on Ripon


An artistic film project, incorporating elements of dance, is set to take place in Ripon is offering an opportunity for budding young actors and performers to demonstrate their talents.

‘The Ripple’ is a public installation of moving image work by visual artist Alex Culshaw. The piece is based around concepts of collective storytelling, mass hysteria and will feature an incident in Ripon in 2015 in which 40 children simultaneously became ill at Outwood Academy. The piece will be a collaboration between people from the Ripon area as well as renowned dance and visual arts groups.

The project seeks to break down how storytelling works, the concept of unreliable narration and re-think the image of hysteria in the modern day, through the lens of performing arts.

Aspiring young actors, dancers and performers in Ripon, as well as local youth groups, will take part in rehearsals and filming between the 9th and 14th of July at Ripon Ameuter Operatics Society. The project will introduce teenagers to contemporary dance, moving image and the process involved in creating film.

Alex Culshaw is an accomplished visual artist, who grew up in Ripon but is now based in London. Her work has previously been shown at festivals and galleries across Europe including the Whitechapel Gallery in London and Florence Arts Centre in Cumbria. In 2017 Alex received a Masters from the Royal College of Art and previously studied at Leeds College of Art as well as Goldsmiths, University of London. West Yorkshire based Rees Dance will be coordinating the dance elements of the project, and accomplished multimedia specialists Wayne Sables Project will assist with filming and production.

Alex said:

Ripon is a great city, to be able to come home and share some of the things I’ve learned as a practicing artist is hugely important to me. When I was young, I was always looking for opportunities to get involved in art, now I can come home and create those opportunities for the next generation of creative people.

Through our project we hope not to sensationalise the events that happened to the schools in 2015, but instead explore what was a fascinating event and dig deeper into the concepts of truth and realism in storytelling.

The final piece, a recorded visual performance involving all the young artists who take part in July, will be installed and displayed in Ripon town centre and at the Curzon cinema before being toured in London later in the year.

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