International Islamabad Art festival 2019 an amazing experience: UK Performing Artist

ISLAMABAD, Dec 8 (APP): Live Performing Artist of United Kingdom Spike Mclarrity on Sunday said he was amused to see performances from all over the world at International Islamabad Art festival (IIAF) 2019.

He had no idea what to expect as he never been to this part of the world and certainly had never visited Pakistan.

“There was some apprehension due to some misperception which was very quickly diminished as he was embraced like a long lost friend, he said while talking to APP in an interview.

It is good to see performances from across the world including Pakistan, USA, UK, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, China, Iran and others, it was a feast of culture and one he had never expected.

Spike Mclarrity is a Live Art Performance Artist from London United Kingdom and studied Fine Art at Kingston University where he graduated in 2010 and in 2012 he did masters in performance where he received a distinction at Brighton University.

Spike has travelled all over Europe as well as China, Philippines and Japan where he performed and exhibited his work.

Spike spoke about a chance encounter in a London cafe where he met up with a friend from Pakistan and was informed about an international Arts festival taking place in Islamabad.

“I had not heard of it before but decided to take part so independently applied and was very happy when I was accepted by Jamal Shah a chief curator International Islamabad Art Festival who invited me to come to Pakistan” he said.

Spike had proposed to conduct two workshops as well as a lecture and a performance, which was scheduled as part of the official program.

The first workshop was held on November 23 where he met a diverse group of people from all over Pakistan who attended and participated in the day long event.

“Thankfully most people could speak English which is helpful for communication”, said Mclarrity who is also known as White Rabbit for his most famous performance.

He said it was a challenging workshop for exploring inner creativity; as from his experience he found that people created their own limitations and this exercise was to enable them to break through.

He also gave a lecture on Live Art Performance, explaining how people can transform themselves using masks.

Spike did a slide show of photographic images of various performances he has done, where he has used masks as part of the performance.

Spike talked about his most famous performance, “Barnes White Rabbit” which is one of his longest performances, that he has been doing for four years, on the first day of every month he wears a full white rabbit costume to welcome the new month ahead before noon, as it is considered to be good luck to see a white rabbit.

He also showed performance in the play “behind the mask of white rabbit is a shaman” which he performed at the Sire Syed Memorial Complex.

Day three on November 25 he conducted second workshop titled `Performing the Live’ which provided in depth thought to explore the ideology around live art.

which was very well attended and gave participants.

Spike also visited Islamabad’s main tourist points.

He said, “the festival was a feast of culture which I never expected, I wasn’t sure what I expected from Islamabad Art Festival (IAF-19) but the rich mix and integration of Pakistani artists alongwith artists from America, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Japan, Indonesia, China and other parts of the world were certainly worth watching”.

“I also met the first Lady at Pakistan National Council of the Arts where I was asked to do a talk, which was such an honour, also I joined other artists to have tea and meet the President of Pakistan.

Every day I was presented with another life changing experience, I just couldn’t believe the standard and the overwhelming art/performances on show, it was nothing like I have ever experienced in my life” said Mclarrity.

He said, “for me I wish I had more time to explore the country, but have to return back to the United Kingdom with some wonderful memories to share with family and friends, also I have met artists from other countries and importantly I have now made new friends from Islamabad and certainly intend to return and look forward to IIAF 20”.

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