By Lisa Freeman

Slipped, Fell and Smacked My Face off The Dance Floor

A live site-specific performance on 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th June 2022.

On a loop from 1-4pm each day.

Location: Naylor’s Cove, Bray Beach, Bray Co Wicklow.

Meeting point at the Old Bray Hotel.

FREE, all welcome. No booking required.

Lisa Freeman’s new scripted performance work features actors, a saxophone player and a significant location: the once-busy sea bathing pool at Naylor’s Cove, Bray.

Drawing on the town’s history as a site of leisure and respite, this work positions the human body in this now-defunct site of relaxation. The actors create intimate moments of dialogue in this public space, where the script touches on ideas of therapeutic infrastructures, tourism and the body as an archive. These moments are woven through this site of failed architecture, set to a live musical score performed by a saxophone player.

This project stems from Freeman’s research into sites of failed and poorly designed civic architecture, and how these sites can negatively impact our health, identity and leisure pursuits.

“I’m interested in the work travelling through different moments in time, bringing bodily felt experiences from other times into the present,” she says. “My research across memory, politics and place is often informed and driven by experiences, feelings and emotions relating to the body. In my performances, I work with multiple actors and musicians to deliver site-responsive dialogue, choreography and sounds. My scripts often allude to inner sensory change and provoke questions about wider issues of change across natural and built environments.”

About Naylor’s Cove

Naylor’s Cove has a long history as swimming destination and is located just below the start of the popular Bray to Greystones cliff walk.

The Cove was named after local fisherman and boat builder Bart Naylor, who leased the land from Town Commissioners in the 1870s. He erected bathing boxes and a small pier, and the spot became a popular sea bathing spot. It fell into disrepair following Naylor’s death in the First World War, but was revived in the 1930s when Bray Urban Council built small children’s swimming pool.

The spot became so popular that three further sea pools were built, and it remained busy until the advent of the package holiday in the late 1960s. In 2011, Bray Municipal Council* removed the then derelict remaining structures leaving it in the condition it is in today.

* Note the changing structure of local governance over a century and a half.

Cast and Crew; Biaina Ryan, Niamh McPhillips, Tadhg O’Rourke (Actors) Andrea Jones (Saxophone), Dan Reidy, Lana May Fleming, Lauren Conway, Luke Van Gelderen (Guides)

With thanks to; Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Padraig Cunningham, Emma Conway, Jenny Sherwin, Julie Kelleher, Gerlanda Maniglia, Dennis McNulty, Astrid Newman, Claire Walsh.

Lisa Freeman Biography

Lisa Freeman works across scripted performance, moving image, text and sculptural installation. She investigates content from archival material, mainstream media and local knowledge to explore epresentation and precarious economies of labour. Through employing intimacy as a form of resistance, she aims to reveal social anxieties along with deeper economic and power structures.

Freeman was awarded a Project Studio Award at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin (2022/23), an Arts Council of Ireland Project Award (2022), an Agility Award (2021) and bursaries from the Arts Council (2022, 2020) and Wicklow County Council, (2021/22).

She completed her MA in Art & Research Collaboration, IADT, Dublin (2020).

Recent exhibitions and performances include; Brows For Days at The LAB Gallery, as part of ‘Unassembled’ (2020). In October 2019, Freeman showed a site-specific performance Green Skies, A Double Rhythm at The Curragh, Kildare funded by Kildare County Council & Creative Ireland. Documentation can be viewed here:

Other projects include: The Talk That Talks, RHA Gallery, Dublin (2018), TBC TV, Somerset House, London (2018), More Mutable Clouds, Prenzlauer Kunst Kollektiv, Berlin (2018), PLATFORM, Draiocht Gallery, Dublin (2018), Solas Nua, Washington DC (2018).

Curated by Anne Mullee