Somewhere in the Light: SUNSHINE COAST
Somewhere in the Light is a performing arts space dedicated to acknowledging loss and the practice of remembrance as a life-affirming endeavour. It was presented for the second time at Eudlo Hall on the Sunshine Coast on the 5th November, 2022 to an audience of 38 people. The event asks artists and audience members to wonder out loud what it is to remember well, and to honour the gifts we carry from those no longer present.
The work highlights the directness of the human story inviting silence, stillness and contemplation. It presents music and the archive as an aesthetic and transformative experience that promotes connection and engages audiences by gently inviting participation, reflection and conversation on a challenging topic. Somewhere in the Light takes an individual's archival story and makes it a story everyone present can relate to in their own way.
There have been two previous explorations of this performing arts space: Something Your Hand Touched and Somewhere in the Light in Petrie. The most common audience feedback is how connected to others it makes them feel and how unusual this space is - that it can be hard to talk about loss without feeling like a burden and that opportunities to listen deeply are rare. People express gratitude for a gentle space of sadness held without solutions being presented: just silent art, real stories and songs that came from loss. Below are photographs and audience reviews below from this event at Eudlo.
I'm grateful to those who chose to step into a space of hard conversations, loss and remembrance, for participating so fully to create a meaningful and nourishing evening. Thank you to Louise King for contributing beauty and excellence. To the Eudlo Hall and Ground Association, Stephanie Tonkin and Merryn Cosgrove for their wholehearted and enthusiastic support of this project. To the kitchen angels with strong hands and minds: Kelli Dendle and Larysa Fabok. To Connie B. and Ted McMahon for trusting a stranger with their stories of loss through the pandemic and giving me permission to share those stories with others. To Mish Gonsal for bringing stillness and skill in documenting the event. To David Hooke for showing us the ropes. To Adrian and Cody for making the live sound magic. To Lindsay Drummond for listening and helping me focus on one story amongst the thousands any archive holds. To Jacinta Foale and Malcom Wood for stepping in at the last minute and to those who shared their voices and hearts to bring old letters to life in a new way: Merryn Cosgrove, Margaret Kirkman, Amon Woulfe, Cesar Genaro, Megan O'Hare, Wes Hopkins, and Juliet Schlaepfer. To Ccr Winston Johnston for bringing authenticity and humanity with his public role in opening the event. To to all those whose presence has fuelled and contributed to development of this project: Gillian Love, Rosie Waters, Andrew Shepherd, Margaret Shepherd-Tovey, Carla Bures, Anne Miller, Francine Morningstar, Jonathan Wald, Anywhere Festival, Melissa Western, Shane Rowland and Tony Rowe. To the Sunshine Coast Council for their continued support of me as an artist working in the region. To Scylla, my songwriting friends across the ocean for their time, attention, and honesty that makes everything better. And to my husband Charles for learning how to use a professional lighting system on the fly, for post-production audio engineering and for being a loving and patient place to land always.
I simply loved the evening with you and Louise. I found my time with you both inspirational and deeply touching - CK
Wow … what a marvellous event. I was captivated the whole way through. It touched me deeply in parts and lightly in others … very well curated, thank you for putting so much time and heart into it. I especially loved the letters … what a glorious reminder of how such a simple act (writing a few words) can leave such an imprint in our souls. The way you wove the idea of archives and memories into a collective notion was very clever. Until Saturday I’d never heard a cello being played close-up… Louise was mesmerising. Thank you so, so much for bringing this event to life. I long for these kinds of moments where we can delve into the depths, and to do so through the arts is especially evocative, I think. I look forward to experiencing your future offerings - HH
This was not a "show". It was an "experience". You held the space so well. It was seamless - CG
Thank you again for last night. There wasn't time to write much in your feedback book before I left, but as I said to you, it was an experience that moved me to tears for the first time in a long time. I also felt that I can now approach my own father’s death (he is still alive but lives with dementia), plan his memorial and appreciate him for the remainder of the time we have together, in a more real and joyful way than I felt before. I was reminded that death doesn't have to only be the solemn and sad separation we commonly see it as, but it can be the opportunity to celebrate the person we knew, and our own unique relationship with them, even warts and all. For me the letter will be the vehicle to deal with the feelings and recollections, and may be the format for me to at last commit my own memories to paper for my daughter. I’ve struggled with this for quite a while, as there are many stories to record for her, but getting started has been the issue. I think you’ve loaned me a key - ST
Mira, thank you so much for this beautiful, heartfelt and inspiring evening - MG
I didn't have much expectations when I booked my ticket. Just willing to see Louise again, listen to some music and be in a peaceful place. I absolutely loved that part of the remembrance was dedicated to the almost 3 years of Covid. It certainly resonated deeply with me as I was born in France and usually work in Paris 2 months a year to see family and friends. There were 3 deaths of very close family members including my mum and the wedding of my youngest daughter who was living in France at the time that I missed. As a holistic practitioner I have listened to many heartbreaking stories of grief and separation during these times. Thank you for a beautiful and meaningful evening - CM
Thank you, Mira and Louise - you helped me grieve the loss of ease and joy in a relationship with someone still alive - JF
Such a beautiful evening and something that I would highly recommend to anyone and everyone. I had my eyes shut for most of the experience and I thought that that in particular was an opportunity for silence and stillness in a very different environment to the one that I might create at home. It really worked well for me. The attention to details such as lighting and creating an ambience was great. The warming drink at the end was also perfect. Your songs were really vibrant and came alive with the added sound of the cello. Bloody brilliant. At the end you asked a question about the gifts that the departed might have brought to us. I have been thinking about this in relationship to my parents. I have no good answers at this point but I'm sure they will come - TR
The evening event at Eudlo was very enjoyable and extremely thought provoking. I especially appreciated the opportunity to write a personal letter of someone of my choosing - WJ
Thanks for inviting me to the somewhere in the light event. Gathering people with music and quiet contemplation reminds me a lot of attending church as a young person. I lost faith a long time ago but still, I found the night comforting (and a lot less judgey than church) - WH
Absolutely beautiful. Incredibly moving. Thank you - JS
A most creative moving tribute to all that have passed in remembrance. Pure love - MR
Funded through ArtsCoast as part of Sunshine Coast Council’s RADF program. The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a partnership between Sunshine Coast Council and Queensland Government to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.