Spa Songs is a musical performance composed and choreographed by artist, Fay Zmija Nicolson. Working only with voices, the musical element of this work draws from harmonic relationships found in Early Music, along-side the DIY and anti-establishment energy of folk and punk traditions. Nicolson composed this song cycle as an intuitive response to Bermondsey, London. This riverside hamlet housed a Cluniac Monastery in the middle ages, thriving Victorian docks and many artists studios in the 1970s. Nicolson focuses on themes that recur throughout Bermondsey’s history: communities of retreat; tidal rhythms of flooding and burning; polyphony and palimpsest. Combined with movement, lighting and costume, Nicolson presents a sensitive polyphonic work that offers a personal perspective on place and voice. Spa Songs was first performed in the underground tunnel shaft of the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe. For her exhibition at Broadway Gallery, Nicolson presents her newly edited film documenting this performance, alongside the painted costumes that were worn by performers.
Fay Zmija Nicolson (b. 1984, Derby) lives and works in London. Nicolson graduated from CSM in 2006 and has an MA Fine Art from the Royal College of Art, 2011. Recent solo shows and projects include: TONE POEMS (exhibition), Zabludowicz Collection, London 2019; Spa Songs, (song cycle and performance), originally commissioned by DKUK for the Brunel Museum, London, 2018; OVER AND OVER PURE FORM, performance and video installation, Kunstraum, London, 2016-7; PLAY SENSE, exhibition and symposium, Gerald Moore Gallery, London, 2015. Fay has exhibited and taught internationally and has work in numerous collections.
Photo Credit: Fay Nicolson, Spa Songs at the Brunel Museum, 2018. Commissioned by DKUK. Photography Alex Rimmer, Post Production Fay Nicolson.
Installation photos © Corey Bartle Sanderson