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I’m an artist-activist working in performance, film, sound and text, and founder of Roaring Girl Productions (www.roaring-girl.com). Drawn to the power of creative work to trigger change, projects range from confrontational and provocative to much gentler inquiry. My blogging will be on current projects and the questions they raise in the doing.

Having the Last Word

12 February 2014

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Please join us for a mass tweet from In Actual Fact on Monday 17th February 8.30-10.00pm when Channel 4 broadcasts Benefits Street: The Last Word, followed by ‘Benefits Britain: The Debate’. Head to In Actual Fact for carefully sourced, instantly tweetable anti-austerity facts and select from the full menu of facts to tweet. In the past few weeks, the battle for TV ratings in the poverty porn genre has heated up. In Actual Fact has been mass tweeting throughout, answering back...

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Being Mysterious

29 January 2014

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New year, new project! I can’t say much yet, but it depends on money, vast quantities of clay, sweeping vistas of space, fantastic people mobilising, and keeping my nerve. The only bit that’s certain at the moment is the date of the election. I’m really happy to be working with CoQuo PR again after their brilliance on Bedding Out, delighted today to welcome Production Assistant Jess Thomas, and hoping it won’t be too long now until I’m able to invite you...

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Things we can DO

14 August 2013

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Liz Crow lies in her bed, white bedding, with red fabric draped across the sheets, a red rope barrier around the bed.

A last blast before I crash for a while. Bedding Out at Edinburgh was a good one: 30 hours of continuous performance, six bedside conversations and an active twitter feed. We talked of the Work Capability Assessment, the social model, performance protest, strength through activism, shaping public opinion, creating our own press, next generation politics, the interconnectedness of systems and people. Audio extracts and twitter conversations will be added to the RGP website soon. But most of...

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In Actual Fact

5 August 2013

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Today’s the day for another website launch. As Government and press propaganda about the cuts and benefit claimants continues to skew public opinion towards division and hatred¹ , we urgently need to answer back with the actual facts. Misrepresentation of official statistics is being use for political gain and justification for a reinvented, cut-back benefits system² that is leading to profound distress and multiple deaths.³ But it is time for us to start shaping...

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The highs and the lows and the highs

26 July 2013

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Hurray, today's the day for the launch of the seriously brilliant, new-look Roaring Girl Productions website, created by the ever-talented CoQuo: www.roaring-girl.com In the process of designing the new site, we sifted through all the existing materials and I realised I've done more than I'd ever known over the past 13 years of RGP. There's some great material on there and it feels kind of good! This new site makes it much easier to find archived material and also introduces...

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Bedding Out in Edinburgh

17 July 2013

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My bed will shortly be wending its way to Edinburgh, where I’m hoping to bludge a comfy mattress for a 30-hour version of my Bedding Out performance at the Fringe. Where Salisbury and the livestream became a connecting of disabled people and building of strategy, Edinburgh is set to be a different beast. This time we’ll be soaking in the upbeat feel of the festival to reach people new to the debate. Rick and Jane of WOW Petition will be joining me at the bedside, to spread the word...

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"Strivers not Shirkers": echoes through the century

4 July 2013

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I’ve been at the Bristol Records Office recently, trawling through the archives of The Guild of the Brave Poor Things. One of a network of membership groups for disabled people, the Bristol Guild was founded in 1896 and became the first to have its own purpose built headquarters. Bringing together disabled people in a social space, the Guild lay on entertainment, companionship, training, sales of works and apprenticeships. Membership was pretty exacting: you needed the right impairment...

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The most formidable of oppositions

22 April 2013

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Bedding Out at Salisbury Arts Centre

  Arriving at the converted church that is Salisbury Arts Centre, my home for the 48 hours of Bedding Out, the altar stage looked breathtakingly beautiful. Plotted and planned as it was, I was not prepared for the theatre of it: a wall of white drapes behind the bed picking up on the white of the bedding and echoing the large canvas sails suspended above; the red of the bed throw picking up in colour the stained glass that rose high above the drapes; the black of the stage adding drama...

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Reminding myself why

5 April 2013

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Performing at last autumn's SPILL Festival

On the eve of Bedding Out, there’s mounting excitement in the twittersphere and my stomach is looping the loop. Will the work do something? (Will my body do what’s needed?) Will people join in and make the project work? I am back at the eve of my Fourth Plinth performance in Trafalgar Square. Then, it was the uncertainty of performance that proved its power. Then, it created a starting point, a moment, where the onlooker was confronted with questions and a place where other...

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Tilda, John, Yoko, Tracey, Ron and me

26 March 2013

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Artist Liz Crow next to The Bed

In my recent interview about Bedding Out for BBC Ouch!* , I was asked “So is this a sort of John and Yoko for PIP [Personal Independence Payment] or more a sort of Tracey Emin-related activity?” When I began to dream up Bedding Out, I kept bumping into John and Yoko and Tracey and began to wonder how many other have made art based on the bed. Quite a few, it turns out, though not many actually inhabit their beds or convey a sense of their bed as occupied. This week, though, actor...

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Mental gymnastics and TV soundbites

22 March 2013

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digitised image of the artist holding her hands flat in front of the camera

Towards the end of last week, I was asked to do an interview this Thursday for regional television news, who are doing a series of reports next week on DLA/PIP, bedroom tax, council tax, etc. I’m under the duvet as I write this, my words slurring, sentences resisting the keyboard; not the best week. I pushed the interview as late in the week as possible, trusting that adrenalin would kick in enough that I can deceive the onlooker. And there is the ‘damned if you do, damned if you...

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Prayers to the Tech Gods

15 March 2013

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Just four weeks to go now until my Bedding Out performance gets underway and the nerves are definitely kicking in. Last week, thanks to the wonders of Skype, I directed the technical fit of the installation from my bed, and technology is looming large in this project in ways I never predicted when it started out. Last autumn, at a previous version of the work, several people got in touch, really excited that it was making them more visible, but unable to attend in person because of their own...

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Reflecting from the Bed

8 March 2013

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Roaring Girl Productions/Trish Wheatley

My latest project is barrelling its way towards the start line. This week, the brilliant CoQuo, my production team have been at Salisbury Arts Centre putting the finishing touches to my Bedding Out installation that forms part of the People Like You exhibition showing work by Gini, Sue Austion and me, and which  launches tonight (8 March). At the beginning of April, I will be moving body and soul into the exhibition space for 48 hours, but more on that soon… Bedding Out comes...

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Some thoughts on Art as Activism

3 March 2013

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digitised image of the artist holding her hands flat in front of the camera

Sometime soon I’m going to embark on a project as light as air, if only for myself, for the sake of my own grey hairs and deepening frown. It will be a project to make me laugh (and maybe other people too), something not even the tiniest bit hardcore. “No more Nazis," I tell myself. It’s just there are still so many Nazis and art is a great way to greet them head on. There are activists who think that art is a diversion from the single-mindedness of a campaign. But...

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