Joss MacDonald, a locally born actor and artist with UK-based theatre company ‘Project Lockout’ is set to release his latest piece of performance art online this coming Friday 27 November 2020 on ArtHouse Jersey Presents.
‘Artist in Lockdown’ is an abstract piece about how a creative person feels when confined to a world with little creativity. Ideas run rampant and, sometimes, take over completely. ArtHouse Jersey has partnered with UK physical theatre company Project Lockout, who specialise in movement, freewriting and cinematic mime to premiere this new work. ‘Artist In Lockdown’ was written and performed by Joss MacDonald and devised alongside Michael Lynch who acts as Artistic Director for Project Lockout.
This piece is part of a series exploring creativity during the pandemic. Joss took both an abstract and literal approach to the work, essentially asking the question, what would happen if a lonely artist continued to have their mind buzzing with infinite ideas without any place to unleash them? Given how difficult it can be getting art out there at the best of ‘ordinary times’, how much more challenging is it to be inherently creative during a lockdown?
Joss grew up in Jersey and cut his performance teeth in the Jersey Arts Centre’s Youtheatre. He went onto train in Acting and Physical Theatre at East 15 drama school where he spent three years honing the art of movement, puppetry, and gymnastics amongst other disciplines. With the support of ArtHouse Jersey’s Olive Brown Bursary, he graduated with a first-class honours degree before signing with an agency. It was during his time at East 15 that Joss joined Project Lockout for their 2018 show, ‘Feel The Fear’. This production was later hailed as the ‘People’s Favourite’ at the Camden Fringe that year, and went on to tour the Southend Fringe Festival and Fusion Festival in Cambridge. Since then, the company has devised another show, ‘The Maniac Complex’, in which Joss plays the leading part of the maniac.
Though it’s been a difficult year for artists, the urge to create has been consistently present for Joss MacDonald. Of the experience he said: “For me, lockdown proved just how powerful creativity can be. Even when pushed to such an extreme limit, the artistic community still manages to support and encourage each other, even when we can’t be in the same room. Yes, it has been an incredibly tough year for many of us, but I’m hoping that next year will bring a boom of exciting projects as the world tries to reset.”
Director of ArtHouse Jersey Tom Dingle said “We’ve been well aware of Joss’ dynamic talent in performance for some time now. His work with Project Lockout has provided him with a platform to shine a light on his capabilities. It’s so exciting to watch artists we’ve supported over the years make a stamp on the wider arts world. It’s also fantastic to have originally written and produced content from a Jersey-born artist debut on our digital platform. It’s the winning combination for ArtHouse Jersey Presents”
Artist In Lockdown premieres on ArtHouse Jersey’s digital platform ‘ArtHouse Jersey Presents’ on Friday 27 November 2020 at 3pm.