with Lynda Sanderson
By Kian West
So Lynda, tell us a little bit about yourself…
I have a tattoo of a slug on my ankle. For someone who barely ever wears them, I own a lot of stiletto shoes. I make costumes; I face paint. I have chickens. I am learning to juggle and all things circus, acrobatic and upside-down. I have a cool garden and make messes.
Lots of people around town have been raving about your performance at This Is Not Art this year. For those that missed it, can you describe the performance and the event in general?
To set the scene, you are wandering down Hunter Street when you hear some chilled out tunes coming from an unlikely little laneway. You wander in unsuspecting. The laneway is setup like a trendy lounge room: lamps light up cute coffee tables; there are winetastings from the inner-city winemakers; and the smell of the El Poco Loco Mexican food van wafts from the far end of the laneway. There are a few rusty crane lifts extending out from the side of a brick building, and hanging from one of them is a bar suspended by a couple of pieces of rope.
“Do” was a solo static trapeze performance challenging the ideas of failure and success and exploring what it is to “do”. As a circus person, I have learned that there is a real practical definition of failure. Every time I try a new trick or get up to perform there is the risk that something could go wrong. In order to get a trick to the stage where I know something is unlikely to go wrong, I have to try and fail several times. It’s one of the things that this performance was trying to highlight and expose.
While I warmed up and performed on my trapeze in front of a laneway full of people, my boyfriend Adrian played live didgeridoo. In addition to giving me music and rhythm to perform to, his accompaniment also told me when to get down off the trapeze. I couldn't have done it without him.
The event was a part of the Crack theatre festival, which was part of the This is not art festival. Crack is an opportunity for artists to put on original works in a very supportive environment.
It’s funny actually – I was trying to get my event on in a restaurant and when that fell through, I was lucky enough to meet a creative producer Wez who lives in the warehouse – which has the cranes sticking out of it. I asked him if I could hang off the side of his building. Several phone calls, emails and an engineering certificate later Wez said yes. He was also instrumental in creating the atmosphere around my event: providing décor and organising for there to be food and drink for the people that came.
And where exactly was it?
It was in a Laneway at 876 Hunter Street. It is opposite the Cambridge a few doors up from the Store. If it wasn't dressed gorgeously, you might have walked past it.
When you aren’t swinging from the rafters, what else do you enjoy doing?
Training, lots of training. Immediately after “Do” I drove to Sydney to audition for the National Institute of Circus Arts and then performed the same night in The Australian Circus Challenge. The first of its kind in Australia. I was born to perform. I’ve also just finished a show called “Dusk” in Sydney, in which I performed in a group tumbling sheep act and a solo hammock/trapeze act.
I teach aerial yoga and also have started teaching beginners aerials.
I love baths, hand feeding chickens, making hats for guinea pigs and drinking great coffee with my friends. I love entertaining my nephew, playing on the equipment in Islington Park. I love riding my bicycle along Throsby Creek to my office at the Roost creative. I model for the drawing room at the Royal Exchange
To see some of the other cool things I’ve been doing check out Stellarlife.com.au
If someone were visiting you in Newcastle, where would you absolutely have to take them?
For a walk around the foreshore and to see the kangaroos at Morriset. I also love the Treehouse community cafe on Hewison Street.
Anything else Novocastrians should know?
There is a place called the Newcastle club behind the Cathedral.
I like Newcastle, I was born here, though I lived in NZ for a while but came back after the earthquake in Christchurch. I am excited to be part of the exciting things going on in town.
Have you got something I can hang from? Get in contact. I would love to hear from you.
Never settle for anything less than a fairytale.