MOTHERBABYHOME is a 796-page ‘report’ on St Mary's Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway. The Home was run from 1926 to 1961 by the Bon Secours Sisters on behalf of the Irish state. Testimony from survivors of the Home and documents from the period underscore the horrific social and physical conditions that the children and women endured. The burial location of the 796 children who died there was never documented, though local knowledge has consistently pointed to a nearby field where flowers and toys are placed at the foot of a statue of the Virgin Mary. A Commission of Investigation has been underway since 2014 in response to local historian Catherine Corless’s efforts to locate the burials and create a memorial. Archaeologists have recently confirmed that Corless and local people have always been correct as a mass grave of infant and child remains has been discovered in that location. An excavation of voices, these poems are entirely composed of text from archives and contemporary sources related to the Home.
Kimberly has performed this sonically rich work for the New Dublin Press Performing Poetry Project, the International Literature Festival Dublin, University College Dublin Irish Poetry Reading Collection, The Other Room series in Manchester and the Irish Literary Society in London in October 2016. A selection of the poems appeared in Laudanum Publishing's Chapbook Anthology Vol. 2 alongside the work of Frances Lock and Abigail Parry. MOTHERBABYHOME is forthcoming with zimZalla Avant Objects as boxed report printed on vellum and in a reader’s edition book.
This brand-new Christmas story set in 1941 at Prideaux Place has been created and directed by choreographer Simon Birch in collaboration with dancers: Emily Dobson (Freefall / Cscape), Anthony Middleton (MiddletonCorpus / Simon Birch Dance), Debbi Purtill (Ballet Lorent / Simon Birch Dance) and Isabel Slingerland (MiddletonCorpus / Simon Birch Dance). Plus, writer Kimberly Campanello, composers and performers Jon Hughes and Claire Ingleheart, and designer Myriddin Drualus Pharo.
Supported by Arts Council England, Cornwall Council, FEAST, Sperry Tents, Dance Republic 2 and Prideaux Place.
Kimberly Campanello has written a children's book with illustrations by Simon Birch that will be published by Valley Press in December 2017 and available at the shows and online here.
constance and eva
A new play by Kimberly Campanello about two sisters who abandoned their privileged upbringing in Ireland to become political radicals. Constance Markievicz and Eva Gore-Booth battled imperialism, fought for women's rights, and sought to redefine gender and sexuality. They were famous - even infamous - during their lifetimes, but history has largely forgotten them. How can their stories be told, and what can we learn from them about how to be politically active today?
Constance and Eva is a multimedia reimagining of the lives of these two sisters, bringing together archive footage, found text and performance to tell their story. It is Urania's first production. It premieres at Bread and Roses Theatre in London from Sept 17-27. Tickets here.
Urania are Hannah Berry (actor), Kimberly Campanello (writer), Luke Davies (director) and Charlotte Gallagher (actor).
cases of sudden conversion
The result of a collaboration between Kimberly Campanello and composer and University of York postdoctoral researcher Jon Hughes, cases of sudden conversion combines field recordings gathered in India with electronics, viola, and body percussion, new literary translations of ancient Sanskrit tantric verse, and newly-composed poems emerging from experiences researching and practicing yoga and tantra. It premiered in May in Poland at Kolanko no. 6 as the featured artistic event for the Modern Yoga Research Group’s conference Yoga darśana, yoga sādhana: traditions, transmissions, transformations. It was recently performed at York St John University as part of the Creative Writing & Creative Culture Symposium.
The poems were published in the pamphlet Hymn to Kālī (Eyewear Publishing).
SacrumProfanum combined contemporary music (Benjamin Dwyer), poetry (Kimberly Campanello), video installation (Dylan Griffith) and visual art (Tony Carragher and Gleny Kohnke), fieldwork reportage and innovative publication design (New Dublin Press) in a large-scale multimedia performance and exhibition responding to the sheela-na-gig stone carvings.
It was premiered and exhibited at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast as part of the 2015 Belfast Book Festival. Poems from SacrumProfanum were published in Strange Country (The Dreadful Press) and Imagines (New Dublin Press).