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Louise Ann Wilson | Insight
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Ms Louise Ann Wilson

Specialist areas

  • Site-Specific Walking Performance
  • Scenography & Live Art Installation




Louise Ann Wilson is a scenographer, director and performance maker whose company Louise Ann Wilson co (LAW co) creates site-specific walking-performances in rural locations in rural locations that seek to articulate, reflect upon, and transform significant life-events. Projects include: Empty (Spring 2015), an interactive mountain walk in Buttermere, Cumbria which explores childlessness by circumstance; The Gathering (Sept 2014 with NTW), a site-specific walking-performance revealing the day-to-day and seasonal workings of a sheep farm located on Snowdon, Wales; Ghost Bird (Sept 2012), a silent walk and live-art installation in the Trough of Bowland; Fissure (May 2011), a cross-disciplinary walking-performance that unfolded over three days in the Yorkshire Dales and explored life, death, grief and renewal; Still Life (Sept 2008, rev.2009) and Jack Scout (Sept 2010) both co-productions with Sap Dance in response to two locations on Morecambe Bay, Lancashire.

From 1998–2008 she was the Co-Artistic Director of wilson+wilson (www.wilsonandwilson.org.uk) whose works include House (1998); Mapping the Edge (2001); News from the Seventh Floor (2003); and Mulgrave (2005).                                                         

Louise's doctoral research project  is entitled: Land-Mark Performance: Transitioning Absent Life-Events through Site-Specific, Landscape Walking-Performance.

This practice-as-research project seeks to evolve a concept of ‘Land-Mark Performance’ as a type of site-specific, landscape, walking-performance that creates a ‘rites of passage’, or a means by which to negotiate, life-events for which traditional ceremonies do not exist. The overall theme of this project is ‘childlessness-by-circumstance’[1] and the missing ‘rites of passage’ into becoming a biological mother that this causes. This ‘absent’ life-event can be experienced, by some women, as a liminal state of begin that is outside-belonging[2], or ‘abject’[3]. It is this ‘abject’ state, allied to the sublime, which ‘Land-Mark Performance’ seeks to address thus, locating it in the fields of ‘Feminine Sublime’ and ‘Abject Art practices.

The project will engage visual and feminist theory, in particular that of Kristeva in relation to ‘the abject’ and of Irigaray in relation to ‘the excluded middle’[4]. Furthermore, it seeks to create a methodological and theoretical blueprint for ‘Land-Mark Performance’ informed by the feminine sublime sensibility and approach to landscape found in the writing of Dorothy Wordsworth and other writers and artists from Charlotte Smith to Nan Shepherd. In addition, the project will explore the art and practice of other contemporary artists whose work deals with the ‘abject’.

A practice-as-research framework enables the investigation and interrogation of the research questions through a written thesis and two specifically designed walking-performances:

  • The Cumbria Walking-Art Project (title tbc), an intimate walking-performance in Cumbria created through mapping-walks with women who are ‘childless-by-circumstance’.
  • The Gathering, a large-scale site-specific performance on a farm in Wales exploring the reproductive cycles of ewes, developed with shepherd and through of in-situ observation.

[1] Term first used by Jody Day, Gateway Women.

[2] Elspeth Probyn: Outside Belonging.

[3] Kristeva: Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection.

[4] Luce Irigaray: Speculum of the Other Woman.


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