“Little is an expansive, multifarious practitioner with interests specifically in art and community… she has for many years staged and produced community engaged works that solicit audience participation. In the case of Neighborhood Magic, collaborators and members of the community were witness to the experience of going beyond the expected boundaries of public discourse (through performance, song and poetry) and remarked upon the deeply felt aspect of the experience.”
by Susannah Papish Neighborhood Magic Publication, 2016
I am an advocate of the transformation of our cities through cultural programing that engages directly with the public. I create interactive public performances that seek to bring diverse communities together. My projects start with interviewing the public, I then compose the interviews into poetry inspired by observations, shared stories and experiences. The poetry becomes a starting point for performance and visual art. I seek to give voice to the voiceless and create space for indepth conversations. The work appears to be a spectacle at one moment and mindful contemplation the next, but at its core it’s intended to draw people in, to spark meaningful conversation about the complexity of what it means to be human.
In addition to creating and producing my own work I have facilitated over sixty public performances in Chicago by local and international artists as Director of Out of Site Chicago.
I’ve been performing as the Queen of Luxuria (TQL) since 2008, seeking to create transformative experiences for all who participate directly and indirectly in my work. All of my practice is interwoven, conceptually linked as a comprehensive entire body of work. TQL has a wardrobe of costumes that become the starting point for my “painting backwards” series. The visual series examines that which has been left behind by giving visual voice to the forgotten and marginalized through an examination of the negative shapes in sculptural expressions. I have created a utopian color palette inspired by my personal childhood growing up in Glasgow, Scotland. I employ the philosophy of “The Abject” by Julia Kristeva in my work believing that when we go through horror we can reach enlightenment.
I am currently working on a project entitled Spare Rib Revisited that I intend to do in five cities. I started interviewing eight women between the ages of 20 to 100 in the city of Lucerne, Switzerland in the summer of 2016. I have composed poetry inspired by the interviews and am developing a visual body of work in the studio. I am thinking about how women’s stories get lost from one generation to the next and how we are constantly having to relearn our past. This will be an intergenerational project that highlights our personal stories by building a poetic encyclopedia that is activated through performance and a visual archive of personalized thoughts and experiences.
For more information about Out of Site Chicago that is the Public Performance Festival I direct please visit outofsitechicago.org