Push 2021 commissioned artist Katherine Hollinson talks barriers to dance, her first online commission and balancing motherhood with making art.
Q: Tell us a bit about your career to date
Katherine Hollinson: I am a performer, maker and teacher from Manchester. A common thread running throughout my practice is the need to challenge notions of who can and can’t dance, and to minimise the barriers to accessing dance as a watcher or mover.
I relocated back to Manchester in July 2018 to have my first child after living in London for eight years. Since graduating in 2006 I have performed nationally and internationally working with choreographers including Lucy Hind, Dan Watson and Liz Aggiss. As one half of Them Two Dance with Connor Quill, I have made work for the outdoors and unusual spaces, so far touring three shows nationally and internationally to unexpecting audiences. I have also taught choreography, contemporary dance and ballet extensively across the UK for organisations including The Royal Ballet School, Central School of Ballet and Trinity Laban.
Q: What does selection for Push mean to you?
KH: It’s a really exciting opportunity for me to work with a local venue that I have long admired. It is my first digital commission and I’m really looking forward to exploring and developing this aspect of my practice. This commission is the culmination of a long research period with my sister and we’re so happy to be presenting the final work in our home city. It’s a project that is really close to our hearts so to be supported by HOME means a lot to us.
Q: How has the last year affected your practice as an artist?
KH: After taking a break to focus on my child, I was looking forward to getting back into my work and then everything shut down. In some ways my practice had already shifted to be more homebased and more intermittent due to childcare. The past year has obviously reinforced both of these shifts. A huge positive for me has been the general shifting of things to being online, it’s made it much easier for me to access things that previously would have been too challenging due to childcare and travel constraints. Like many other artists, last year has also encouraged me to focus more on digital ways of presenting my work. The commission from HOME came at the perfect time for me to explore how the research with my sister could translate into a digital work.
Q: What do you hope the audience will take away from your show?
KH: We hope that they will take this opportunity to slow down, think about those they care for and have a giggle with us. They might need to have some tissues nearby too.
Q: What comes next for you after Push?
KH: I’m expecting another baby any day so will have my hands full with two for a little while. Then I have a couple of other digital works that I’d like to start researching, primarily an art project for new parents. A sort of alternative baby club…
Would you care to… is a Push 2021 commission, and will be available online later this year. For more details about HOME’s upcoming programme, sign up to our newsletter, here.