Florence Peake CAVE

Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy | Florence Peake: CAVE

With Contributions from Alexandrina Hemsley and Garrett Nelson

Thu 30 Jan 2020
19.00 - 20.30
Pay What You Can

The work of our artists is valuable and our events cost money to produce, but we also want them to be as accessible as possible. Therefore, we offer you the opportunity to pay what you can for this event.

Lancaster Rooms
New Wing

Part of Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy, a programme of six specially commissioned artworks exploring the concept and practice of wellness.

The opening can be hard to find
A thin slash
barefaced cliff face
Turn sideways to enter
Abrasive crunch of pebbles, a crude ingress
Adjust to settle, fingertips rasping on your rough inner lining
to steady on the movable ground

There is a tidal cave on the Jurassic coast, South West England. It is a site of retreat and refuge from the world for only 3 hours before it is again submerged by the sea. A place of dark, wet sanctuary, the cave has become Peake’s lover. This intimate performance recalls her encounters with the cave and the immersion it offers her.

As part of her new solo project 'Words Collect In My Mouth: All Is Fire And Flood', Alexandrina Hemsley contributes a performative reading of texts that explore moments of both vanishing and retrieval, asking what might be recovered from the aftermaths of violence.

Garrett Nelson performs his work Future Archaeology, a fictional account of an existential revelation found through the discovery of homosexual Paleolithic art in a Sicilian cave.


Alexandrina Hemsley (UK) is a dance artist and writer. Her practice is shaped by and insists on embodied enquiries into a multiplicity of voices expressing felt, lived realities. She works across the morphing disciplines of live art, dance, dance for camera, theatre, mentoring, creative and critical writing. She is interested in liminal spaces, connectivity, fracturing, displacement and emotionality. She is continually attempting to conjure intersecting, gentle noise amidst oppressive silencing. It is a life long project.

Her work has been commissioned by and presented at Sadler’s Wells, Battersea Arts Centre, Somerset House, Southbank Centre, South East Dance, Chisenhale Dance Space and The Yard Theatre amongst others. Her critical writing and hybrid poems have been published by Sick of The Fringe, SPILL Festival, The Silver Bandage (Bookworks), LADA's Live Art Almanac Vol. 5. Disability Arts Online and new publication exploring queering the future, Hereafter (Unbound).

Florence Peake is a London-based artist who has been making work since 1995. Her performance practice uses drawing, painting and sculpture combined with found and fabricated objects placed in relation to the moving body. Site and audience, live and recorded text, wit and candour are key to her work, which has been presented internationally and across the UK, in contexts including De La Warr Pavilion (2018), Palais de Tokyo (2018), CRAC Occitanie (2018), Wysing (2017), Serpentine (2016), Whitechapel Gallery (2016), ICA (2015), Harris Museum (2015), Hayward (2014), BALTIC (2013), Frieze (2013), Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2012). Upcoming work includes Apparition Apparition co-authored with Eve Stainton for the Venice Biennale, 8 - 11 May 2019

Garrett Nelson is a Swiss American artist and writer currently based in Argentina. They use referential impulse, theoretical and historical research, literature and poetics as a basis for performances, paintings and installations. Recently they have been concealing themselves from the audience using curtains and voice in works called Blind Audition. Other topics and themes have been post-human club kids, (Head Bimbo, 2015-17) the fascist patriarchal origins of white walls, (The Law of Ripolin & Pique His Vanity, 2017-18), Francis Bacon’s stools and gay men’s labour, (The Future Myth, 2015) homemade masturbators and toothless blowjobs (Blind Audition, 2017-2020). A bilingual publication of poems will be released in 2020 with Triana Editorial Buenos Aires