On the impossibility of perpetual motion
Our embodied awareness of the global systems and crises that affect us is rooted in small-scale, mundane experiences and changes to our everyday routines. Reflecting that, this piece uses the stories of inanimate and domestic objects as a lens through which to consider the dislocation and isolation felt by many during the UK lockdown. The poems explore the impact of this on our relationships with physical and social space, and our continuing need for communication and interconnection.
On the impossibility of perpetual motion is divided into three parts that cycle through the experiences of UK lockdown life. They move from a growing paralysis, through stasis, despair and frustration, and finally into a cautious acceptance, and a return to a degree of momentum and re-engagement with the world. The accompanying video mirrors the claustrophobia and domesticity of the subject matter and was filmed on a smartphone within 50 meters of the artist’s house.
Kat is currently working on their spoken word theatre show Dry Season. In 2019, they finished the first stage of research and development with the support of Arts Council England. A UK tour is in production, though currently suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions. Kat supported Joelle Taylor at Lyra: Bristol Poetry Festival 2020, and has performed at poetry events and festivals across the UK, including WOMAD, Shambala and the Eden Project. They tell stories for adults and children and has worked with an ecologist to create site-specific explorations of myth, folklore and science, created mushroom-themed cabaret and presented at the University of South Wales’ annual Storytelling Symposium. They are slightly obsessed with fungi and sometimes get paid to ride around harassing the public from the back of an electric stegosaurus.
On the impossibility of perpetual motion 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. Kat Lyons was one of the artists selected to represent the Spoken Word category.