Last weekend I was asked to be a part of a project by my friend Sheena Rose. Over the past year or so she's been travelling around the world studying and living her dream as an international artist. She's finally back in her home island, Barbados, where she's working on her latest project: A Bit of Gossip, A Bit of Privacy. This project culminated in a performance at her home and I got the chance to document it for her. As we all know, I'm not much of a writer but I'll try to give it a quick review.
Each room in her house was dedicated to a moment of reject in Sheena's life. In one room, an actor (Deevon Clinton of Azman) played the part of a past boyfriend that breaks up with Sheena over Skype. Hunched over an iPad, contemplating the situation before calling Sheena to whisper things like "we're moving too fast" and "you'll go far". This guy never broke character and it made the room feel tense, like I was going though a bad breakup.
In her studio, an actress (Empress Zingha) played the part of Sheena on the other end of that Skype call. Her shouts of "What??? You're breaking up with me???" as well as her loud sobs after the call echoed though the house. It was actually hard to watch.
In her bedroom, another actress (Shanice Warton) played Sheena talking to another guy on the phone. She tells him she thinks he's sexy but he thinks she's "just ok". To say that she's pissed by that is an understatement as she rants at how she could be "just ok".
And finally, Sheena herself bathed in the shower decorated with tropical-looking leaves. Sometimes you could see glimpses of her nude behind the shower curtains. All the while, the audience were invited to enter the rooms and interact with the actors as they played their parts.
All I can really say about it was that it was an experience. Hearing the wailing from the breakup combined with the ranting from the "just ok" phone conversation was upsetting at first, but I was intrigued to see other people's reactions as I photographed them. I also got to see aspects of Sheena's process in creating her artwork and how she draws inspiration from events around her. The entire performance lasted about three hours and I can only imagine it was torture for all the actors, especially Sheena, who was standing under running water the entire time. But the actors all delivered an award-winning performance. I can't wait to see more events like this.