Inspired by the work of medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch, Give Me a Reason to Live is a stark solo that explores issues of religion, in particular religious art, the judgement of bodies and quality of life. Taking the form of a series of tests, of body and of faith, and set to a mesmerising sound score, the work is a study of empathy; a live memorial to the disabled victims of the Nazi euthanasia program and the current disabled victims of recent ‘welfare reform’ in the UK.
With a sound score crafted by Zoë Irvine, Give Me A Reason To Live is performed and choreographed by Claire Cunningham and features her haunting singing of one of J.S. Bach’s chorale cantatas. This mesmerising piece is a statement on our judgement of the human body; a study in the notion of empathy.
About Claire Cunningham
Claire Cunningham is a Glasgow-based performer and creator of multi- disciplinary performance. One of the UK’s most renowned disabled artists, her work is often rooted in the study and use/misuse of her crutches and the exploration of the potential of her own specific physicality, with a conscious rejection of traditional dance techniques developed for non- disabled bodies and any attempt to move with the pretense of a body or aesthetic other than her own.
Cunningham’s work combines multiple artforms and ranges from the intimate solo show ME (Mobile/Evolution) (2009) to the large ensemble work 12, made for Candoco Dance Company. Last year she created Give Me a Reason to Live and the full-length show Guide Gods, which looks at perspectives of the major faith traditions towards the issue of disability. She is a former artist-in–residence at the Women of the World Festival at the Southbank, London, and of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens University and will be Tramway’s (Glasgow) Associate Artist in 2016.