Creeping Buttercup is a collaborative performance and sound work in progress by artists Clare Whistler and Ellen Southern.


Background to the collaboration

In spring 2012, Clare Whistler invited Ellen Southern to be one of the composing artists for a project she was curating and directing for the City Of London Festival (COLF). Whistler’s project, ‘Where The Wild Flowers Are’ was a special Festival commission celebrating wildflowers in the city.  In total, sixteen composers and sixteen poets were given one of sixteen wildflowers as inspiration to make a new work; a composer and a poet for each flower. The resulting poems and musical ‘miniatures’ were to be performed in concerts held in three unique churches in the heart of the old City.

Southern’s response was ‘Creeping Buttercup’, a composition for percussion (water-pitched wineglasses and percussive ‘river’). The poem of the same name, written by Sean Borodale, was performed straight after the piece was played. The event won praise from the Festival and audience alike, which gave Whistler and Southern the idea to develop ‘Creeping buttercup’, both music and poem, into a collaborative visual / music / performance piece featuring both artists.

The piece was developed as a duo for a Making Space research residency at Fabrica, Brighton between the 4th and 8th of March 2013, during which this blog was started. We have since performed versions at artist run space The Others, London, and are currently participating in Art in Romney Marsh 2013.