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In The Open | Luce Choules & Ruth O’Callaghan

Luce Choules was born in Henley-on-Thames. Base camp is the UK and she operates from field centres established in France and Spain. She undertakes international environmental arts residencies and commissions, in addition to funded projects in the UK and personal research in the mountains of southern Europe. Her interest is in an environmental shift in human nature; and her work looks at the movement of animate and inanimate objects through the gesture of behaviour. She works in still and moving image and the intermedia between performance and sculpture. Choules is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), and Founder/coordinator of the itinerant artist network TSOEG (Temporal School of Experimental Geography). She presents talks and papers on the subject of fieldwork in artistic practice as an independent researcher, and has exhibited widely.

Ruth O’Callaghan has five collections of poetry, holds the prestigious Hawthornden Fellowship has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and was awarded a gold medal for her poetry at the XXX World Congress of Poets in Taiwan. Her work is much anthologised and translated into many languages including Italian, German, Mandarin Chinese, Mongolian, Hungarian and Romanian. She has been invited to read in countries throughout Asia, Europe, and the USA. In America she has completed two successful TV, radio and reading tours where her audiences ranged from approximately one thousand to those on a buffalo farm where the buffalo outnumbered the poets. A sponsored visit to Mongolia by the Arts Council allowed her to collaborate with Mongolian women poets resulting in a book and a CD. O’Callaghan is an editor who hosts two poetry venues in London where both the famous and unknown read side by side

Choules and O’Callaghan have worked together previously, but as parallel participants in Strandlines, based in the Centre for Life-Writing Research at King’s College London. Their Lisbon residency in 2015, marks their first collaborative venture, taking as a starting point Eavan Boland’s title A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet. This latter speaks of Boland’s journey towards becoming a poet/being a poet. The ‘being’ is the absolute identification with one’s chosen creativity – for Boland and O’Callaghan this is poetry, for Choules it is art. Because they wanted to attempt to achieve this absolute identification, not only within their different modes but also with the city of Lisbon itself, they embarked upon their journey without pre-conceived ideas to encounter the city together. Hence, an artist and poet – observing the pathways and crossings that characterised the residency – have contributed towards a new reading of the metropolis.