Mother for you I made this (2013) film

(2013) Film (related to Mother… Performance)

 

Stand alone video documentation from the performance and audience experience of Mother for you I made this (2013)
Fillmed by Ryan Adams and Jocob Rosen. Edited by Ryan Adams. 

 

(2019) Film screening with post-screening Q&A, radio interview. North Star Ballet, Fairbanks AK
(2015) Film screening, ArtEast, Issaquah WA
(2015) Film screening. TEDX Adventure, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle WA
(2014) Cornishʼs Our Creative Society, Seattle, WA
(2014) TEDX Rainier, Macaw Hall, Seattle WA
(2014) Film Screening, Fidalgo DanceWorks, Anacortes, WA

Mother for you I made this (2013)

(2013) Performance Premiere

 

Part performance and part activism, Mother for you I made this is aimed at activating a conversation about the failed mental health care system in America through memories of my childhood as I lived with and unknowingly cared for my schizophrenic mother. This hour-long solo is built from a series of performances I made as gifts for my mother over a seven year period.
Audiences were guided through forgotten public spaces by ushers and given a personal audio sound score composed by Paurl Walsh. Weaving conversations between myself and my mother with sounds from the actual landscape.
Mother for you I made this was commissioned and produced through Velocity Dance Center‘s Made in Seattle dance development program with support from 4Culture, ArtsFund, and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

 

Collaborator credits: 
Paurl Walsh Sound/composition. 
Christopher Stewart Sound Tech. 
Christian Swacker Stage manager. 
Kim Lusk Tech Director.

Mother TEDX Rainer:

Tonya Lockyer + Ezra Dickinson TEDX Talk Macaw Hall 2014

Gifts for my mother, interview with Ezra at TEDX

Mother press reviews:

Seattle Dances: Ezra Dickinson Quietly Provokes

Seattle Star: The Art of Changing How We Talk About Mental Disorders

Seattle Times: Haunting look at mental illness, laid bare on the streets

City Arts: Ezra Dickinson Triumph and Tribute

The 12th Avenue Project: EZRA DICKINSON DANCES A DUET WITH SEATTLE

The Stranger: No Two Performances Will Be the Same

Mother press quotes:

Seattle Dance Annual: Reviewers recall highlights of 2013

Mother press preview/interview links:

The Stranger: Q&A with Ezra Dickinson
Seattle Met: A Fiendish Conversation with Ezra Dickinson
Kiro Radio: In “Mother For You I Made This,” a Seattle Dancer Finds a Stage in the Streets
KUOW Interview: Weekday & Weekday With Steve Scher (Interview starts at 38:30)
Seattle Channel: Art Zone with Nancy Guppy (Interview starts at 6:30)

Mother press photo essay of performance:

City Arts: Ezra Dickinson Takes to the Streets with an Emotional Tribute to His Mother

 

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Photo Dan Hawkins

Photo Tim Summers

Photo Dan Hawkins

Mother performance excerpts:

Pacific Northwest Performance Platform. APAP, Gibney Dance, NYC. (2019)
For this showcase I chose to perform the section from “Mother” where I wrap a 150’ foot block printed cloth poem, pulled from my stomach around a grove of trees, in this showing I asked audience members to stand onstage in place of trees as I wrapped the length of the poem around and in between them. I was quite pleased with the result, as the length of the cloth poem filled the stage to complete capacity and used the space and the audience in a way that no other performers did during the showing.
Velocity Bash. Velocity Dance Center, Seattle WA (2019)

 

Pacific Northwest Performance Platform. APAP, Gibney Dance, NYC. (2018) 
The Incredible Intensity of Just Being Human exhibition. City hall, Seattle WA (2015)

 

The Incredible Intensity of Just Being Human exhibition. Highline College, Dem Moines WA (2015)

TEDX Rainier. Macaw Hall, Seattle WA (2014)
“My”. Art Share. Centennial Hall, Sitka AK (2005)
“My”. Cornish Benefit Concert. Poncho Theatre, Seattle WA (2005)
“My”. 12 Minutes Max. On The Boards, Seattle WA (2005)

Mother Mask (2012)

(2012) mask created for Mother for you I made this performance.

 

I only have a few images of my mother taken within the last ten years. When I imagined creating a mask of my mother I found myself feeling lucky to have this image as my only and best photo. I have the color original. In a progression of performative ideas, I xeroxed the color into only black and white. My first use of the xerox’d photo of my mother was for a Ten Tiny performance, for this performance I made a dress out of 80 copies of my mother’s face.
For this mother mask, I gave myself the task of finding a store bought mask that had the same expression as my mother in this photo. Taking multiple copies I began to recreate my mother’s face overlaid on the preexisting mask (of Hillary Clinton).
My mother has a healthy fear of the government that is amplified by her imbalance. I thought it was a poetic gesture with a mother’s son portraying her face skin deep over Hillary, walking the streets searching for the last few ferries among the cement of the big city.

 

Photo Anthony Rigano

Photo Tim Summers

Manifest Destiny’s Child (2012) film

(2012) Music Video, Corespondents, Seattle WA (Related to Mother… Film and Performance)

 

Music video created for the Corespondents and the performance of Mother for you I made this. Filmed and edited by Douglas Arney (of the Corespondents). Choreographed and performed by Ezra Dickinson. Music video features 14 versions of Ezra Dickinson and one that is not Ezra. The concept for this video is a remembrance for Ezra of growing up with a schizophrenic mother.

 

La Boca (2012)

(2012) Mural, Neighborhood of La Boca, Buenos Aires Argentina.

 

Mural painted as a gift to the neighborhood of La Boca. Walking through Buenos Aires I was approached and asked if I was a painter (my pants had paint splatters all over them). When I said yes, I was presented with this wall and asked if I wanted to paint something, of course I said yes. For three days I painted on a very precarious ladder, while kids blew up firecrackers, little grandmothers fed kittens, and the whole neighborhood collected by me to watch this mural take shape. It was an amazing experience.

 

Mother Printed Poem (2012)

(2012) Text block printed on muslin, created for Mother for you I made this performance.

 

In developing my route for the performance of Mother for you I made this, I found myself gravitating towards the Federal Court House because I felt its backdrop during the performance could stand in as a symbol for the machine of America that forgets so many of its parts. I wanted to write a poem speaking to a courtroom and its judge: an only child pleading with the court/country’s constituents to see the forgotten and vulnerable, an only child pleading for the rights of his institutionalised mother. In my short film Listen I read this poem to an empty counsel chamber in Seattle’s City Hall. 

 

Photo Nate Watters

To create this work I first had to measure the length between a desirable grove of trees located in the courtyard of the Court House. Having the exact distances between each tree, I started to create the layout of each word and each sentence. I had to take into consideration the direction that the poem would unfurl from my belly and how the audience was going to be viewing this work as I wrapped this poem through the trees. Once I had these steps completed this allowed me to determine the total length that was going to be needed to both complete the poem and also begin sewing the full length of muslin together. In total this poem is a hundred and fifty feet long. I hand printed each letter of each word, meticulously measuring each sentence so that it fell in the middle of its allotted length. I created a special undershirt that had a built compartment that housed and allowed for the poem to look as though it was being pulled from my belly. When the poem was wrapped in the trees it created a five pointed star, I think of this as not a nod to the stars on the American flag but a ritual space delineation each and every time I completed the task of wrapping. I am truly proud of this particular performance element. I feel this work digs deep to speak truth to power, and for my love of my mother. (from Mother for you I made this performance)

 

Photo Nate Watters

Photo Nate Watters

Photo Nate Watters

Paurl’s gift (2010)

(2010) vinyl painting 

 

I try to do my best to use all of the materials that come across my path. Since about 2006 I have been collecting and cataloguing adhesive vinyl scraps left from acrylic block printing thousands of my stickers. That is how this gift for my dear friend and longtime collaborator Paurl Walsh came to be. The start of this image was taken from a life drawing class I sat in on one day while at Cornish College of the Arts. I never really feel right just doing what’s expected. I don’t intentionally set out to be different, I just use what comes across my path and try my best to have fun along the way. I ended up in this life drawing class with a four by four piece of black foam core, so naturally I used this as my drawing surface for the class. Afterwards, this study came home and was stored away for some time before I started to fill in the study with different colors from my adhesive vinyl collection. Over the course of a few years this work emerged and finally became a gift. Along the way this work also served as album artwork for one of Mindie Lind’s bands Inly.

 

Bald Vase (2010)

(2010) Ceramic Sculpture.

 

Low fire, thrown, over glaze with wax resist. Approximate dimensions 13″x8″x8″. Always looking to create satisfying shapes and visuals, this vase has an almost hidden pop of vibrant yellow spiraling down its outsides. This was a gift to a friend.

 

unsniffed

Ceramic Castle (2009)

(2009) handbuilt ceramic sculpture

 

Gift created for a friend’s mother. This castle was modeled after Neuschwanstein. I had not hand built anything in eight years before creating this piece. This project taught/reminded me of many things I should do differently when building a large ceramic sculpture.

 

Baba Yaga Platter (2009)

(2009) ceramic sculpture

 

This is a gift for my grandmother. Her request was for a platter that could house her yearly gingerbread house creation. With the platter, the gingerbread house is elevated and transformed into Baba Yaga’s hut. I get so much joy from creating gifts for friends and loved ones, this gift in particular was revealed as a true success when I received the photograph after the gingerbread house had been erected on top of the platter.

 

Photo Ron Hammond