Image credit Stephanie de Leng
Rebecca Sharp is a writer from Glasgow. She began her career as a playwright, having studied Theatre at Glasgow University, with her first play Last Child produced at the Arches theatre in Glasgow in 2001 and HERE Arts Center NYC in 2002. A later play Danger: Hollow Sidewalk was also produced at the Arches in 2006, heralded as ‘fascinatingly complex, audacious and at times brain-poppingly clever work’ (Neil Cooper, The Herald). Sharp’s interest in testing boundaries and exploring interdisciplinary practice led her to work more in poetry and prose as well as performance. For ten years, Sharp lived in Liverpool and continued to develop work in Scotland and England. In 2009-10 she was Artist-in-Residence at Metal Liverpool, where she made the work The Ballad of Juniper Davy and Sonny Lumiere; a sequence of fifteen poems and original score that Sharp also composed, forming a site-specific performance and book, designed by fine artist Elizabeth Willow. Sharp continued her collaborative practice, making The Tiger Act with artist printmaker Hugh Bryden (Roncadora Press, 2012) and Fathoming: setting poetry to silk with Eva Fulinova (2010), a triptych of poems and silk objects exhibited at the Bluecoat in Liverpool. In 2013 she made a new text and sound work with sound artist/composer Philip Jeck – Rules of the Moon was performed by Sharp and Jeck at the Bluecoat in Liverpool, before the pair made a recorded version for vinyl release.
Increasingly drawn to themes of Scottish culture, landscape and identity, Sharp made Unmapped (2013) with Scottish artist Anna King - a sequence of poems and paintings that was exhibited at StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival and at the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts Kelly Gallery in 2013, with accompanying book and website. Little Forks / Forcan Beaga (2012-14) was originally written as prose; published in English and Gaelic and toured in Scotland and England as a performed reading, leading Stellar Quines theatre company to commission Sharp to adapt it as a full-length play.
Sharp was commissioned by Mr McFall’s Chamber / Remembered Imagined in 2013 to produce a new text for performance, working with composer Ailie Robertson, using source material from the archive of the Department of Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University. The piece, For the Bees, continues to tour in Scotland, performed by Mr McFall’s Chamber, Maeve Mackinnon and Angus Peter Campbell. In 2014, Sharp was one of the writers commissioned by Stellar Quines theatre company to make a new work for site-specific performance at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, in response to a chosen artwork; Sharp’s piece The Unmaking of Mary Somerville was performed by Sarah Barron.
Sharp is currently working on another new play, also commissioned by Stellar Quines - The Air That Carries The Weight will explore the life and work of Scottish archaeologist and writer Marion Campbell. Directed by Muriel Romanes, it will feature an original score by Scottish composer and musician Catriona McKay and is in development for performances at the Traverse theatre in Edinburgh.
Sharp is currently based in Fife, where she writes, gives readings and workshops and continues to devise new projects. As an expression of her belief in the function of the arts and creativity in wellbeing and in supporting communities, Sharp has a role running Forgan Arts Centre in Newport-on-Tay; where she divides her time between her own work and developing opportunities for others. She is currently developing a new collaborative project with writers and artists in Dundee and is working on a novel.
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