Lighten Up Mate
Lighten Up Mate is a film that draws upon movement and spoken word to explore mental health, grief/loss and society’s damaging perceptions/viewpoints on these topics. Kane John Mills is an artist who has extensive experience creating live work, but this is his first venture into filmmaking.
Please note: The film comes with potential content/trigger warnings due to it discussing death, grief and suicide.
Kane makes bold, unapologetic, authentic, thought-provoking works that are often autobiographical, draw upon various art forms, and shed light on 'difficult/taboo' subjects, flitting between delivering honest, impactful points, and humour that makes the truth easier (and sometimes harder) to digest. He creates these works independently, collaboratively, and as commissions for companies, and he has twice been a recipient of a choreographic award from Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW) in 2016 and 2017 for his respective solo works, The Mask You Wear and Said Unsaid.
Kane is a passionate activist for inclusivity and accessibility and believes that the arts are for all. He was in the 2018-2019 cohort of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures’ Overture, a bespoke personal and professional development programme for community dance artists. He loves working as a facilitator and is a staunch advocate for arts provision and the immense impact it can have in supporting, improving, changing and saving lives. He has taught many dance, theatre, physical theatre and voice and movement classes, workshops, company classes, masterclasses and intensives for various organisations and companies, some of which being Theatre Royal Plymouth, Made By Katie Green, the Exeter Contemporary Programme of Swindon Dance CAT (Centre for Advanced Training) Scheme, EXIM Dance, Far Flung Dance Theatre, Plymouth Dance, Doorstep Arts, Barbican Theatre Plymouth, Bigfoot Arts Education, Above Bounds Theatre Collective, and numerous primary and secondary schools. He is excited to be sharing his newest work Lighten Up Mate as a part of the Art Institute’s ‘Everything has changed. Nothing has changed. Change is coming.’ exhibition and looks forward to seeing the other commissioned exhibitors’ works.
Lighten Up Mate was commissioned as part of The Arts Institute Covid-19 art fund, launched in June 2020, which invited artists to respond to the provocation ‘Everything has changed. Nothing has changed. Change is coming’. The series features five different art-forms and supports artists working in the South West, UK. Kane John Mills was selected to represent the Theatre and Performance category.