Member in the Spotlight: Lou Lomas
We put our members in spotlight and ask them to share their experiences, inspirations and memories of working in Outdoor Arts and find out a little bit more about what makes them tick…
FreshStreet3 Conference, Galway 2019 (Lou on the right!)
'There be Monsters', by Fabularium. Photo: Andy Moore
'New Day' by Cirque Bijou, Coventry
'Reynard the Fox' by Fabularium
OutdoorArtsUK Board Awayday (Michelle, Daryl, Deb, Alan, Camille, LOU, Orit, Olivia, Angus)
Festival of Imagineers - 'Museum of the Moon' and Balbir Singh. Photo: Andy Moore
Shop Front Festival. Design: Andy Moore
Lou is a freelance producer based in Coventry, working in the outdoor arts sector and she sits on the OutdoorArtsUK Board.
How did you first get involved in Outdoor Arts?
I met Talking Birds in my last year at University and obtained a future job scheme grant that gave me an internship with them working as a tour booker and touring with their Outdoor Arts shows The Whale and The Q. I always wanted to work outdoors ever since I was young (childhood ambition was to be a tornado chaser). I love the challenge thrill and figured working outdoors would be close to this haha.
What is one of your earliest memories of Outdoor Arts?
Watching Kneehigh perform outdoors in Cornwall and being lucky enough to go the Minack. Being a working class family, we just couldn’t afford to go to the theatre, yet out in the streets there was an equality, a freedom, plus you get to work in some amazing spaces using the cityscape as a backdrop.
What performance or Outdoor Arts experience has made a big impression on you?
Ahhh there are so many! Royal de Luxe – to see them close down streets and take over cities. And I loved the full sensation of a happening and people coming together to be part of a movement. I lost days for those beautiful puppets.
What’s the best artistic advice you’ve been given?
Always be open to welcome ideas/thoughts and processes. Always be willing to learn and share good practice and experience. Be generous, warm and inviting, support others.
Where do your ideas come from?
Creative Matchmaking, and I am inspired by unique and unusual collaborations.
What’s your top tip to someone wanting to work outdoors for the first time?
Be aware of your surrounding and welcoming to every possibility in public space.
Always have the audience in your heart.
Describe a current project or future piece of work that you’re really excited about.
Bridge is an ambitious outdoor art and engineering project that will lead to the creation of an iconic bridge structure, the basis for an irresistible live spectacle.
The Bridge will appear in Grantham, Coventry and Worcester, where it becomes the setting for a one-off, memorable performance. Meanwhile, communities in the host cities will take part in a programme of bridge building and artistic activity.
Bridge stands at the intersection of engineering, art and social change. Crafted and made by engineers; completed and made into a spectacle by outstanding artists, performers and members of the public: Bridge is a project for our time.
What do you think are the opportunities available now for the sector?
I think now is a great time to be working in the sector, with a whole range and host of partners. Lots of ways to learn and get involved and some fantastic mentors in the sector.
Where do you think the sector will be in 4 or 5 years?
Hopefully there will be more Outdoor Arts Producers in the sector and more collaborations with various partners, arts, engineering, and sports.
Who inspires you in your work?
Passionate people who drive for change and are showing real representation across audiences.
What non-Outdoor Arts performance has made a great impression on you?
Ben Duke, Paradise lost
Any top tips for Outdoor Arts practitioners?
Unique collaborations, ambition and determination.