Sky Academy Arts Scholarships 2013 update: David Shearing

Sky Academy Arts Scholarships 2013 update: David Shearing

By Despina Ladi 10/07/14

In the second of our interviews with this year’s Sky Academy Arts Scholars, theatre designer David Shearing tells Despina Ladi his plans to create an immersive performance installation about the weather...

Tell us about your project

My project is titled THE WEATHER MACHINE and it will be an immersive performance installation, exploring the relationship between weather and control. I’ll be working with artist and composer James Bulley and writer Kamal Hussain to create this unique event.

The piece will explore dynamic design elements that are partly improvisatory, open to chance collisions and connections. It will consider the theatrical event as a total ecology. I tend to use a range of technologies in my practice, such as headphones, video and surround sound, but I want to push that further to include wind, haze, as well as dynamic uses of light and atmospheric conditions.

So what will you be getting up to in the coming year?

So far I’ve been planning and preparing the groundwork. Ultimately I hope to create a number of scratch events that will culminate in a final showing in February 2015. My intention is to tour the piece in the following year. The project has allowed me to work as a freelance theatre designer and director, so I hope to start collaborating with others and to plan a tour of my previous projects, too. 


Image: And it all comes down to this by David Shearing

Image: And it all comes down to this by David Shearing


What difference do you think the funding and mentoring will make to the project? 

What is special about the support from Sky Academy is that they’re investing not only in the project but also in me as an artist. It’s allowing me time to focus on developing my work so I am self-sustainable. Although I’m committed to the outcome, I’m completely free to explore creatively and to take risks. It all feels very much in the early stages, but I’ve already received some rich insights and connections from my mentor and from Sky.   

What have you learned so far? 

I’m already learning the tricky process of negotiating with venues and spaces. I’ve already had to be flexible with my process and allowing ideas to develop based on the situation.

What advice would you give to someone applying to the next round of the fund? 

Take your time! While preparing applications is a long process, allow time to check that what you’re saying is clear. Get others to read it, and do some of the legwork on the project planning. Who will be involved? Do you have a clear plan for the year? And make the most of any successes you’ve had. 


Sign up to IdeasTap for advice, funding, opportunities and our weekly newsletter – with all the latest arts jobs.

Images courtesy of David Shearing

Closing Update

4599 Page views

Theatre design articles

Most popular
Our past collaborators