Creative Incubator
Artist of the Day:
Léda Davies

Creative Incubator Artist of the Day: Léda Davies

Get to know an artist! Today’s Incubator spotlight is on Léda Davies.

Léda wins for best company name: The Screaming Goats Collective. If anyone has seen one of those YouTube videos of goats screaming, you’ll know that it’s both terrifying and wonderful. Léda’s work is a lot like that. It’s a mash up of theatrical play and circus performance, much of it soaring or spinning in the air from silks, or in this case, bungee cords. 

This project, Fish at the Bottom of the Sea, follows a unique, poetic structure, and together with the aerial apparatus the play physicalizes the main character Eve’s desire to cross an impossible threshold to her lover who has died. The creation process for the project has also been completely collaborative with an all female creative team. 

The play Fish at the Bottom of the Sea explores the transformative process of grief. The main character Eve finds herself in a liminal space between past and present, life and death. With the restrictions and realities due to COVID-19 that we continue to face as a society, Léda feels strongly that we are in a collective state of mourning. Like her play’s main character, Eve, we are suspended in the unknown. For Léda, this project aims to give form to the grief that we are collectively experiencing. She hopes we can find a way to move through this vulnerable state of uncertainty together.

cSPACE: What’s your imaginary autobiography called? 

LD: “Have Your Cake and Eat It Too.” I’m on a quest to better understand the human experience in a multitude of artistic ways. I perform circus and theatre, produce and teach because ALL these things bring me joy. I want it all, and I want to have fun doing it.

cSPACE: What excites you about the Creative Incubator?

LD: Right now, I find myself looking at areas in which I see value and re-evaluating them from the inside out. Like the bungee I am rebounding, along with my collaborators, and society as a whole, but the direction we are going is unpredictable. For me, this phase of Fish is a return to questioning, staying vulnerable and open to the uncertainty, embracing the instability, and hanging suspended in the unknown, which is a new way of working for me. Rather than pushing towards a grand finale, this residency is about listening more closely, leaning into smaller gestures, seeing what comes from conversations, and transforming again and again.

cSPACE: What inspires you about cSPACE?

LD: I love cSpace’s focus on community and bringing different disciplines together. Ever since I walked into the building I had a sense this was a space where things were possible. As a circus artist in Calgary it’s challenging to find a rehearsal or performance venue that is willing to let you play, but at cSpace my creativity and artistic discipline is not only allowed it is encouraged.

cSPACE: At cSPACE we live by the 4C’s: Creativity, Community, Collaboration, and Change. Which of these resonates the most with you right now?

LD: Right now, “collaboration” resonates with me.  After having to remain socially distanced for so long, collaborating with others on an artistic project seems like a distant dream. I’m grateful to get the opportunity to reconnect with my collaborators on Fish at the Bottom of the Sea, as well as getting to collaborate and learn from the video artists involved in this Incubator.

cSPACE: Where do you see yourself in the future?

In a year from now I see myself on stage, presenting a completed version of this show to a live audience. I also dream of being on the beach in Thailand!

cSPACE: Who knows, maybe you’ll be performing this show to a live audience on the beach in Thailand! If you’d like to keep up with Léda and her many exploits, visit her website or follow her on her social channels here: 

Instagram: @circusmonsterleda
Facebook: @LedaDaviesOfficial
Twitter: @LedaDavies

cSPACE gratefully acknowledges the support of the Calgary Foundation for the Creative Incubator Initiative