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Team Venus

Lydia Towsey
Writer/Performer

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Picture Credit – Ambrose Musiyiwa

Lydia Towsey is a poet & performer with a Masters in Creative Writing and over 15 years experience. Previous commissions include: Freedom Showcase (Literature Network); Spoken Word All Stars Tour (Poet in the City); Beyond Words — U.K. tour of South African poets (Apples and Snakes) and Three the Hard Way — UK tour with Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze in 2014 and 2015. A Decibel commissioned artist, in 2008 she was one of 50 international artists in residence at Stratford Theatre Royal. Previously shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize, she’s spoken and performed everywhere from London’s 100 Club, Royal Albert Hall, Roundhouse and House of Lords – to Plymouth University’s Zombie Symposium and more basements, bunkers and boudoirs than Bela Lugosi…

Lydia has been published and commissioned by The Guardian newspaper, The London Magazine, Hearing Voices and Magma, amongst others, her work features in ‘Hallelujah for 50ft Women’ (Raving Beauties, Bloodaxe, 2016) and Candlestick Press’ ‘10 Poems about…’ series. From 2015-2017 she UK toured the stage show of her collection, The Venus Papers (Burning Eye Books, 2015) produced by Renaissance One, supported by Arts Council England. Her second book, The English Disease will be published by Burning Eye Books in 2019.

Rachel Mars
Director

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Rachel Mars is a performance maker with a background in theatre, live art and comedy. She explores the idiosyncratic cultural and political constructs that inform the way we are together, as people, just trying to figure it all out. She makes performance work as a solo artist, collaborates with a range of artists including nat tarrab as mars.tarrab and curates occasional programmes of art and culture for JW3 London. Her recent commissions have included Royal Court Tottenham, Fuel Theatre, Home Live Art and Ovalhouse. She is a fellow at the Birkbeck Centre of Contemporary Theatre and a regular contributor to ‘Pause for Thought’ on BBC Radio 2.

For more information visit:

Nick Field
Director

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Nick Field makes contemporary performance that is playfully shaped, sharply observed and meticulously crafted. He has had plays commissioned and produced by leading theatre companies including The Royal Court, Paines Plough and Theatre Royal, Plymouth. He is also a short film maker, his first film Treehouse  has toured with the BBC Big Screen and been screened and exhibited by the Propeller Film channel. He has taken his work to major events, venues and festivals internationally including Soho Theatre, The Royal Festival Hall, Latitude Festival and Kulturhussett, Stockholm.

For more information visit:

Ola Szmidt
Flautist, Vocals

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Picture Credit: Benji Reid.

Ola Szmidt is a singer-songwriter, musician, flautist and producer based in York. As a multi-faceted musician her work combines vocal and instrumental improvisations with live looping techniques, and self produced electronics. A finalist of BOSS Live looping Contest, Ola specialises in live looping & electronics using voice, flute, toys, detuned guitars & ethnic instruments. She has guest curated for hitrecord.org & been featured by BBC6 a number of times. Her influences included Scandinavian/Eastern traditional music & jazz/folk, contemporary classical & electronica. In 2016 she received “The Steve Reid Innovation Award” and is currently working on debut Ep, funded by PRS Foundation and Steve Reid Foundation, mentored by Four Tet and Brownswood Recordings.

For more information visit: http://www.olaszmidt.com

David Dhonau
Cello

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David Dhonau is a bassist, cellist, composer and producer based in the UK. His work has ranged from ambient electronica to fuzzy alt rock, contemporary classical to improvised noise. As a composer, arranger and session player his work has been favourably reviewed in NME, The Wire, Uncut, Muzik and the Sun. Live performances have taken him to Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House and festivals such as Tramlines and Summer Sundae. He has had recorded work featured on television programmes such as BBC3’s ‘Ideal’ and Channel 4’s ‘Hollyoaks’.  David currently plays in Leicester based dream-pop band Dayflower and is a founding member of experimental rap collective 1,000,000,000,000 o’clock.

For more information visit: http://daviddhonau.co.uk

Scott Bridgwood
Visual Artist

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Scott Bridgwood is a figurative painter, currently based in Leicester. He graduated from Chelsea Art College in Fine Art Painting in 1991. After exhibiting around London, at a range of venues including The ICA and Westminster Gallery, he moved to Rome, where he painted and taught at the BCI (British Cultural Institute) for 8 years. Over the last 3 years, he has exhibited and sold widely across the Midlands and won various prizes, including the prestigious Windsor and Newton; first place at Patchings and first prize at ‘Art in Lyddington’ and ‘the Sock Gallery, Loughborough. His work is on permanent display at: The Lost Gallery, Aberdeen, Scotland; Westend Gallery, Leicester, Cank Street Gallery, Leicester and The Ten2 Gallery, Hinckley. He was recently featured in national magazine, ‘The Artist’. He currently teaches life drawing at Leicester University and exhibits across the UK.

For more information visit: www.scottbridgwood.daportfolio.com

Louise Katerega
Movement Director

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Louise is a popular and versatile contributor to the UK dance scene. She trained at London Contemporary Dance School, Coventry University (Performing Arts) and also holds a first class degree in Film & Literature from University of Warwick. Based in Leicester since 1998, Louise enjoys a varied career as a performer, choreographer, educator and mentor to people of all ages with differing amounts of dance experience. Her choreography has appeared on stages – and once on the lawn of a stately home! – in many places around Britain and also at the international Dance Umbrella Festival in South Africa. “Between The Stones and The Stars” about her mixed British African heritage toured nationally in 2007 as part of State of Emergency’s “Mission Re-Position Tour”. In 2008 Louise was nominated for Leicester Chamber of Commerce “Woman of the Year”.

For more information see http://www.footinhand.co.uk

Kate Unwin
Set Design

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Kate Unwin is a highly skilled set and costume designer with eleven years experience. She trained at De Montfort University obtaining a First Class Degree in Interior Architecture, specialising in Television Design and now works as a freelance set and costume designer, working extensively on events, site specific projects and installations. Kate’s experience spans theatre (productions for Curve Theatre and other regional venues) film, TV and music (sets for Scouting for Girls). Recent highlights of her work include designing for the Abu Dhabi Royal Family (December 2011).

More examples of her work can be found at http://www.kateunwin.co.uk.

renaissance one
Producer/Curator

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‘renaissance one’ is a literature company that champions, produces and curates the full range of literature – from poetry and prose, to satire and spoken word. Established in 1999, ‘renaissance one’ remains a unique company in terms of it’s independent creative business model, it’s high level of advocacy for writers, and it’s artistic, social and economic commitment to diversity through a wide palette of voices. Highlights include creating spoken word projects with the Southbank Centre, Chris Ofili, British Council and Miami Book Festival and shaping tours for novelist Caryl Phillips, poet-novelist Bernardine Evaristo, journalist Gary Younge and writer-satirist Sophie Woolley

For more information visit http://www.renaissanceone.co.uk

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