BODY HOUSE (@thebodyhouseproject on IG)
Body House is a collaboration between St. John’s-based textile design – theatre artist Bruno Vinhas and Italian visual and dance artist Valentina Gaia-Lops in which we created a multidisciplinary installation that draws from dance, text, photography, video, and textile art in its storytelling. Sharon King-Campbell engaged as the dramaturgy consultant for the work. Weaving together a series of autobiographical accounts of people’s relationships with their own bodies, Body House takes its inspiration from one of Valentina’s photography projects, Amor Proprio, and asks the question: Is it selfish to love oneself?
Film segments/interviews were shot in St. John’s, Barcelona, Italy, and via zoom from volunteers all over the globe. These segments are being integrated into the final video, being edited by Paco Penino in Berlin, in various scenes throughout the performance. The dancers, Josh Murphy and Vanessa Cardoso-Whelan, created and performed segments, with the support of Neighborhood Dance Works, to help tell the story through a series of filmed vignettes that draw from the interviews, as well as the autobiographical reflections from the project collaborators.
Brazilian by birth, Bruno Vinhas is passionate about global craft culture which drove his will to work in a gallery environment. He is a queer-identified textile artist, curator and has worked as a theatre director in his home city in Brazil. A degree in Tourism and Hospitality has provided Vinhas with the experience of living and working in multiple countries and being immersed in different cultures changed his perspective about art and craft. Apart from his personal practice, Vinhas has been working as the Craft Council of Newfoundland’s Gallery Director/Curator since August 2018 in which he focuses on accessibility and inclusion in public art spaces.
Valentina Gaia Lops is a dancer and visual artist and queer feminist activist.
Her work mainly centers on community, participatory projects and art activism.
In December 2020, Valentina was awarded the prize ‘I am amnesty’ by Amnesty International Ireland for furthering the cause of human rights and facing injustice using her talents to inspire others. Influenced by her studies of contemporary dance and composition, her photography work is characterized by a unique use of movement as well as an intimate diaristic / documentary style. She collaborates with grassroots collectives and activism groups internationally.
This project has been awarded the 9th Annual Roberta Thomas Legacy Award by Neighborhood Dance Works in March 2021 and it counts with the support of many volunteers through interviews and partnerships. Both collaborators are eternally grateful for them!