Mark’s ‘Over The Sea Run The Hares’ project is currently an R&D activity that is creatively exploring his altered perceptions of self, resulting from acquired disability (stroke). This latest work is being developed in consultation with his neuroscience collaborators, and follows his Arts Council England supported earlier video composition entitled, ‘The Dog That Barked Like A Bird’, that was first screened in 2004 and reflected Mark’s early experiences of stroke. The new production will be site specific and its construction will vary in response to the nature of the venues it will be staged in. It is hoped that a version of the production will be made for film or television.
Mark says, ‘I had a severe stroke over 22 years ago. When it happened, it left me confused and uncertain about the new world I found myself in, where even the simplest of tasks proved to be immensely challenging. Things that were previously important to me were less so, and many of the things that I had ignored in my past life, suddenly took on new and profound importance. Most significantly, experience of stroke made me question my perception of self and my role in relation to others.
‘Today, I have a different understanding of my brain injury and the subjective experiences it has triggered. ‘Over The Sea Run The Hares’ will be a multimedia, multisensory performance that will attempt to convey and express how I reflect upon my stroke now, following 22 years of living with the condition.
I want to convey stroke to people who haven’t had this condition, including medical professionals who treat stroke survivors – to communicate what it feels like to be suddenly faced with unfamiliar subjective experiences. My hope is that the work will also assist people who have had a similar experience to have a better understanding of their condition. The work will place a heavy emphasis on how exposure to the natural environment has had a profoundly positive affect on my condition.
‘Creatively, the intention will be to push the boundaries of photographic and cinematic language in an attempt to capture the often surreal and mesmerising quality of brain injury experience.’ The R&D phase of ‘Over The Sea Run The Hares’ is supported by Arts Council England.