Resident artist Lucy Heard is a performer, events organiser and producer. She works as ‘Doris Rocks’, where she focuses on all manner of creative and inventive happenings. We caught up with her to find out how she got involved in this work, who exactly ‘Doris’ is and what plans she has for the foreseeable.
You have an incredibly diverse background, from street performance to mental health advocacy. How did you get involved in these activities? How do they relate?
I’ve always been creative and making art, even when I spent years working as a recruitment consultant I would go on courses in printmaking, singing and burlesque. In 2009 I met Liz Clarke and worked on the Gallery Of Superheros and Alteregos, which was exhibited at the Tobacco Factory.
It really opened my eyes to what I could do and create. I had no idea that this collaboration would develop into deep friendships, further explosions of work and the guts to have a total career change.
Since the Gallery, we have worked together on the Compendium of Superheros and Alter Egos and Liz’s show Cannonballista. The compendium is a graphic novel developed using live art and written by a group of women with mental health issues. Together we recruited and employed an artist to make our vision into a book.
Cannonballista is a live cannonball show which Liz has been developing over many years. I worked with Liz on the show while developing who took part in the show. Working with personal objects to draw out characters has always been at the core of the work I have done with her.
While my heart loves the performance aspects, my head knows that I am far better off stage, taking a more project management/producer role. I moved into Puppet Place nearly 2 years ago with a view to making more and developing all the characters I have worked on with Liz (and others) into puppets. Finding time to work on something for me is really a challenge as there is so much else going on.
Who is Doris? What kinds of events do you organise and for who?
I am Doris, the name comes from a nickname that I was given several years ago by a housemate who called everyone’s girlfriends ‘Doris’ because he couldn’t keep up with the ever-changing names. One year I got more birthday cards for Doris than I did for me! It came from Peter Cook and Dudley Moore sketch.
I used to work on lots of vintage and burlesque hen parties and theatre events, providing event assistance/management or workshops. This work has developed a lot over the past few years and now I mainly work for Bath Spa Live on music, poetry and dance events, alongside producing fire performances and street theatre for Juggling Inferno and Circii.
Is there an event that you’re particularly excited about this Christmas and New Year? How will you spend Christmas Day?
I’ve been working on Christmas events since July – I’ll be quite glad when its all over! I love everyone’s enthusiasm for things, until I tell them how much it will cost to put an aerial act in or the ghost of Christmas past on stilts.
I head off on retreat in January when I don’t have to look at a computer, answer the phone or talk for a week and on Christmas Day, I will see my family in the morning and have a snooze in the afternoon.
Do you have any new year resolutions? Any plans in the pipeline for 2018?
More self-development, my most recent superhero character was about connecting with people using eye contact and being seen. I’m currently working with Holly Stoppit to look at my inner critic and this is giving me plenty to work with.
And there is always my secret puppet army to build..!