by Sara Hibbert

Sara Hibbert is a London-based visual artist working primarily with moving-image and photography. She graduated in 2015 from the Royal College of Art (MA Photography), and is a current participant of the London Creative Network artist development programme at Four Corners. Past exhibitions and commissions include: Brighton Photo Fringe, Alchemy Film and Moving-Image Festival, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital Trust, Two-Hundred Acres at the Pumphouse Gallery, Night Contact at Brighton Photo Biennial, and Altai Collective: RCA Dyson Gallery.

As a visual artist collaborator, the CID project has required me to move between two roles – that of a documenter, capturing and reflecting each week’s session, but also as an active participant of an evolving, collective, creative experience. There has been great value in the regularity of the workshops – getting to know everyone, seeing people each week and joining the collaborative discussions. My work has changed and developed as the dancers have worked towards their performances and evolved their individual artistry, our mutual link being a shared sense of progression under the direction of Danielle and her incredible team. 

Throughout all of this I was searching for the words to explain what my work was doing – how does my perception of what’s happening differ from, or relate to, the dancers’ experience, and how can this become part of a mutual feedback loop… the theme of visibility, of sensing one’s movement and identity from another’s perspective, was something I was continually questioning and responding to. I was aware of my ‘eye’ – always looking through the viewfinder, zooming, cropping, framing – becoming a new element of movement in the space.

Within the dance space there is a strong sense of emotive and physical support (the term ‘safe-space’ was brought up in several discussions, but the feeling often goes much deeper than this term conveys) – both between the dancers towards each other, as well as to themselves individually. This resonated particularly during week 6, when several vocal improvisers joined the group. Their voices felt almost like a physical cushioning, that held the space for the dancers to explore their evolving ideas, and reflected movement back to them. Movement seemed to become about an awareness of individual and collective presence, of the gaps between each other, of holding an invisible expanse of trust. This is what led me, whilst reviewing the thousands of images I’d taken throughout the process, to focus on these spaces between. 

By cropping in on closeup movement between hands and limbs, the final images explore the notion of shared space, of presence becoming visible within the gaps, of collective timing and exchange. In collaboration with each dancer, I have also produced a series of movement portraits, which will be presented as a postcard series.