​So first and foremost, tell us what Spill Yer Tea is all about?

SPILL YER TEA is a brand new live art and performance art scratch event with a bit of a twist. The event does not follow the traditional scratch event format where the performer gets up on a stage for ten minutes, does a performance and then leaves. We are trying out something new.

We are attempting to find a way to include every type of performer; so those that might not fit into the 10 minute timeframe for instance, or those that might want to include the audience in their performance. The event aims to provide an open supportive platform for emerging and established artists, students and graduates and collectives and groups to share new artwork that is either ready-to-go, or is in its developmental stages. All work presented will be followed by feedback and an optional Q&A with the audience.

Natalie Wardle
Image Credit: Natalie Wardle - Control Pants

How did the name come about?

So it actually came from an argument I had with my mum when I was a kid, both of my parents are profoundly Deaf and use British Sign Language. I was trying to communicate my feelings, but my mum was deliberately refusing to look at me. I found myself getting really frustrated to the point where I couldn’t contain my emotions any more, I was holding a cup of tea in my hand and as a way of releasing what I felt inside, I poured my cup of tea on the living room carpet.

Needless to say my mum was shocked and looked on in horror.

My action, along with my mum’s response seemed performative. The pouring of the tea seemed to communicate the spillage of my emotions and my mum’s response was as if she was an audience member viewing a performance. Upon reflection, I now realise that performance art has always been in my blood and represents my way of spilling my truth.

SPILL YER TEA seemed a fitting title for this event, given my own personal experience.

We are inviting artists to spill their truths through Live Art and Performance Art.

Can you tell us a little more about the concept behind the event?

Historically, Liverpool was known for its experimental live art and performance art scene, however, in recent years this seems to have faded. There are many cities around the UK that are actively promoting and supporting live artists and performance artists and it seemed to me that given Liverpool’s rich history and its current status within the world of art, that it was important to take an active role in helping revive this once thriving art scene in the city.

We have been really conscious about how we want SPILL YER TEA to operate as an event.

We have taken a lot of time to consider how we can make it ethical. We understand the difficulties artists face when trying to find opportunities, which is why we don’t follow traditional application process. We believe that all artists that get in touch with us deserve a space in which to present work. The language we use as part of the event is really important to us; nobody applies and nobody submits. Instead, we use terms such as sharing of work. Provided the works proposed follow our health and safety guidelines and fall within the categories of Live Art and Performance Art then we will welcome it into our event. We will be working on a first-come first-served basis. Once we have a clear indication of the pieces involved in the event, the SPILL YER TEA team curates how these works fit together on the night. Our intention is to be completely experimental. All profit from the event will be equally distributed to the contributors and artists involved.

Are there going to be any surprises that we can look forward to seeing at the event?

Ooooooo, that would be telling. Although.... I can say that there might be some flying pants. For more information about our line up, readers can head to our Facebook page at facebook.com/dripliverpool.

Kajoli
Image Credit: Kajoli - Matriarchal Tarantula

Do you think the event is inclusive for those not involved in performance art. What would the show feel like to them?

We recognise that some people may not have engaged with performance art or live art before and we want to provide them with the opportunity to do so. We have a real mixture of works featuring in the event, which include comedic, interactive, social, political and personal experiences and themes. There will also be an opportunity for the audience to participate in some of the artwork and they will be able to get actively involved in the artists development, by leaving feedback. The night is not for the fainthearted, we are committed to providing all of our artists with a platform for free speech and expression and where possible we try not to censor or restrict works. Due to the experimental nature of this event, some viewers may find the content of some performances disturbing and/or offensive so if you are easily offended, this event might not be for you.

Where can you see Spill Yer Tea going in the future?

We are taking one step at a time. It's important to us to continue to build upon our strong relationship with Constellations, as we feel the venue shares some of our values. It is run by artists for artists and believes in encouraging new exciting journeys of discovery, which is absolutely what we are about. We aim to facilitate a fusion of genres that create exciting and dynamic intersections within live art and performance art. Our intention is to create a thriving community of live artists and performance artists, where a sense of exploration, support and growth can be fostered and nurtured.

SPILL YER TEA comes to Constellations on Thursday 1st August. Suggested donations are £5 for entry, with concession for anybody experiencing financial hardship.