I met with Alysha Creighton at her art studio on E Hastings. Originally from Vancouver, she moved back recently after doing her MFA and then teaching at U of A and a short stint living and working in Europe.
After studying ballet at Arts Umbrella, she turned her focus to visual art, primarily working in drawing during her undergrad. Though her work is often figurative, she left her dance background behind for many years while exploring two dimensional work. During her MFA, Alysha began to explore video and this expansion in her practice began to lead her back toward working with her own body through “performing for camera”.
“It became increasingly sculptural as I was putting screens into chairs and tables and into the space more,” she says. “I think that led me more to utilize performance.”
Her video installations are worlds to be entered into. Viewers find their way around empty chairs, and lean over tables where words appear as if message from an unseen inhabitant. Much of her previous work has addressed the body in parts, isolating the gestures of disembodied hands or a single pair of feet disappearing out of frame.
Currently teaching at Trinity Western University, working with students feeds into her artistic practice as well. The act of presenting information has caused her to reflect on the implications of live performance, seeking out ways to “connect with a group of people, engage them, and get them invested in what you are invested in.”
“In the last few years I’ve been trying to reconnect with my background and training in movement but wanting to do it differently… not in the super intense ballet sort of way.”
Recently reconnecting with live performance through a residency in Berlin where she experimented with minimal movement and a video component, her upcoming performance will be her first time bringing her work out of the gallery and into a theatre space.
Alysha Creighton premieres her solo “Riverface” at Shooting Gallery Performance Series #3, March 31st and April 1st.
– Julianne Chapple