Illustration Commission

Tate Learning Today: 10 Years in the Making by Anna Cutler, Director of Learning & Research, Tate

Instrument Sculptures Workshop @ Chisenhale Dance Space

Score Testing Diagram

Instrument Sculptures Workshop

Performance Studio @ Chisenhale Dance Space
21 May 5pm-7pm
11 June 4pm-6pm
FREE – Link to Booking Page, RSVP required

A sound and movement research workshop to explore how a new series of amplified ‘Instrument Sculptures’ might be performed using individual tasks and collective actions to produce sound and lightscapes.  Becoming architectural in proportions, movement and sound are intertwined in these sculptures that are also percussive hybrid instruments, flexible and temporary in their nature.

They are informed by utopian architecture, liquidity, ancient musical instruments, thermodynamics, ecological systems, aquatic and microscopic lifeforms, cybernetics and symbiosis.

We will together build up a set of systems and interactions that will trigger the interconnected tensions and dynamics within each sculpture. We will test individual gestures, collective polyrhythms and what happens when these Instrument Structures and their different associated movements cross paths.

This workshop would suit participants who are interested in the process of developing form through improvisation and exploring relationships between sound and movement. This is a free workshop and is the opportunity to be part of the early stages of a research project towards possible future commissions.

Workshop Structure:

In the first workshop (May) we will test and build up a series of manoeuvres, using loose working and sensitising exercises to develop the sound and associated sets of movements with each Instrument Structure, we will then see what rhythms and systems emerge.

In the second workshop (June), we will recall the movements (strong and weak) that came out of the first workshop. We will then explore polyrhythm by testing out what happens when these different systems meet, how they might transform one another in any given moment (e.g. through merging, lifting over, destroying) and the range of changes and outcomes in sound, movement and rhythm that this might produce.

Participants will need to be comfortable with improvising and testing and have experience or interest in working using an open exploratory approach. After the workshop, there will be the opportunity to continue with the project and be part of future commissions and performances.

Each workshop will be documented with video and audio recordings for the development of the project.



Atlantic Center for the Arts Residency, Florida, with Josiah McElheny, 2016

Atlantic Center for the Arts Residency #160 with Josiah McElheny

Supported by Sally Hands Foundation Scholarship and Canada Council for the Arts

EMERGENCY 2015/16, Aspex

Selected by Suki Chan, artist; Karen Mackinnon, Director & Curator, Artes Mundi; Kwong Lee, Director, Castlefield Gallery; and Joanne Bushnell, Director, Aspex.

Here, the Wool Matrix was installed as part of the group show at Aspex over the longer time frame of a two month exhibition, here people were able to interact with the piece and make polyrhythms using the sonic knitting needles and spindles in and around the structure. Here you can find the piece in its original 30 minute performance context.

WM Aspex 2 Smaller5 Smaller6 Smaller7

OUTPOST Members’ Show 2015, selected by Nik Void

Originally, the Sonic Knitting Needles were part of the more expansive sculpture Wool Matrix, for this group show the needles and wool are placed on a table for people to interact with. The needles are plugged into headphones. An interview with Nik Void about the exhibition.

NV: I like the idea of inviting the audience in. By experiencing Rita Evans’ Sonic Knitting Needles the work links the audience to the emotive element experienced with improvisation and participation. With live music the audience participation is usually more restricted to their own space. The needles are adapted with contact mics to produce sound, the participant can hear the motion through headphones. I think listening through headphones is important to have in a space like a gallery because it’s encourages a personal and private experience.

Sonic Needles 1 photo Joseph BarrettSonic Needles 2 photo Joseph Barrett

Outlining her intentions for the show and the context of the selection, Nik Void explains, ‘The nature of the exhibition is role reversal – to objectify artworks to simulate performance in a subtle way and linking the work of others to my own practice. I have selected five artists to present this idea.’

Norwich Outpost 2015

Rita Evans concludes her Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award with Brain Drain and Trance Party


In the final week of her Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award, Rita will present two sound-based sculptural installations currently in development. Their uncertain outcomes, moments of failure and possible collapse will be shared with the audience.

12.30pm to 1.30pm Brain Drain in the Stephen Cripps’ Residency Award Sudio 005, High House Artists’ Studios

A series of sculptures and drawings (in progress).

Developed in the award studio from original drawings that formed part of Rita’s proposal for her year on the Stephen Cripps Studio Award, the Brain Drains explore exhaustion and loss of control. Using methods of circulation, filtering, reducing, expanding and melting to reach various points of ending or renewal, they aim to create a watery, volatile soundscape as liquids and materials flow through them.

2pm to 4pm Trance Party in the Barns

A site specific ‘electro-acoustic’ instrument/sculpture and party.

Trance Party uses the creative potential of turbulence, failure and open-endedness as a strategy for the audience to create and construct their own rhythm. ‘Trance’ in the title, relates to the level of heightened awareness during shared concentration; the build-up and breakdown of a beat; a sparse starting point with layers that slowly build over time; and the repetition of phrases, that in ‘trance music’ sends dancers into a hypnotic state. The physically flexible nature of sections of the sculpture, will aid the constant destabilisation of pitch encouraging new beginnings. The audience is also invited to dance or relax within and around the instrument.

The Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award is a major creative development opportunity funded by Acme Studios, The Henry Moore Foundation, High House Production Park Ltd and Stephen Cripps’ family.

Rita Evans, Solo Presentation at the Backstage Centre

Click here for Rita Evans at the Backstage Centre Press Release

The event will include performances on new ‘electro-acoustic instruments’ developed by Rita Evans which will explore the sensory rhythms of making and thinking, including: knitting, singing, stage lighting and effects. A diverse range of part-sculptural, part-architectural structures made by Rita will be present in the space. These will be ‘performed’ by groups of people from the Thurrock area including Lesley Robinson and Knitters Circle, the Royal Opera House Community Choir and the National Skills Academy Creative & Cultural Backstage Training Centre’s Technical Youth Team and South Essex College.

Over the first six months working on site Rita has been exploring performance in relation to forms of musical improvisation. These are highly-structured in their bringing together of personal rhythms in one common task, while at the same time spontaneous in the final outcome. This approach allows the performers to be creative and offer their own interpretations.

The performances have an emphasis on the temporary, both in their performative nature and in their built forms that use recycled and found materials from around Thurrock. The event will explore the ebb and flow of time, of working, of performing, of making and moving together.

For one afternoon, the Backstage Centre becomes a live creative space where the group dynamics of the community, an elemental part of the works, will evolve inside and around the sculptures.

The performance further builds on the creative collaboration between the partners on the Park; High House Production Park, the Royal Opera House, Creative and Cultural Skills, South Essex College and Acme Studios. The Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award is a major creative development opportunity funded by Acme Studios, The Henry Moore Foundation, High House Production Park Ltd and Stephen Cripps’ family.

Rita Evans at Backstage Centre: Preview 1

This video has sound


Pyramid Music at Radio-anti and 38b Domestic Transmissions

Click here for link to short video loop of performance

38b March 2015

Friday 13 March 2015
Radio Anti Domestic Transmission with 38b

Broadcast by Radio Anti on or 87.5FM in the Peckham Rye area

For the finale of Radio Anti’s week of Domestic Transmissions, 38b hosts a programme of music, performance and discussion with invited friends and a public audience to celebrate the power of what it means to ‘just do it’ in your own space.

With Sarah Bowker-Jones // Laura Dee Milnes // Luke Drozd // Rita Evans // Eva Rowson // Mike Ryder // Rosalie Schweiker // Keef Winter.

Instrument, 2015 (part of projects developed on the Stephen Cripps’ Award)


Talking Drum

Over the Thames Barrier and flood gates, the Thurrock landscape and its various intersecting connection points, the roads, bridge, trains, Eurostar and River Thames… This is where it’s all shipped in, petroleum, timber, gas.

Recording 1: Talking Drum, Flood Chamber January 2015

Hydrophone ‘played’ inside flood barrier tank.

Field recordings with Ryan MacBeath from the sound team at the Backstage Centre, High House.


Thurrock Enquirer Dec 2014

Thurrock Enquirer

Rita Evans selected for Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award 2014/15


Disembodied Light Orchestra, (stills) 2009

Rita Evans has been selected for the 2014/15 Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award, an annual award for artists whose practice is rooted in sculpture which embraces elements of light, movement, machinery, sound or performance and is based at Acme Studios’ new-build studios at High House Production Park in Thurrock.

Rita Evans was selected by a panel comprising Anne Bean, artist; Jonathan Harvey, Chief Executive of Acme Studios; Ron Haselden, artist; and Mark Spink, Assistant Head of Scenic Art at the Royal Opera House.

Speaking about the panel’s decision, Anne Bean said:

“What first struck me about Rita’s work was its fearlessness about using wide-ranging technologies, combining the sophisticated with improvisatory and spontaneous practice. Her drawings showed a real similarity to the freedom, quirkiness, humour and enquiry intrinsic to Stephen Cripps’ sketches.”

Rita plans to spend an increasing amount of time in the studio over the 12 months and will move into a work/live unit in the building in the second half of the residency. Rita explains that:

The studio provision will be imagined as a nerve centre, with the upstairs work/live unit as a place for dreaming, thinking and conversation, with spontaneous sketches and plans emerging and developing from this engagement. The downstairs studio will act as the rest of the body, a kinaesthetic making space, where these plans will be transferred into time-based sensorial sculptures and performances.

Panel member Ron Haselden comments:

“Rita stood out as an artist who was very motivated and spoke and illustrated a number of projects that were often ‘off the beaten track’. She already seemed to be wholeheartedly committed, with a number of engaging ideas, for projects that were well-orchestrated in her mind for Thurrock, the local environment and those who live and work there.”

The Award is funded by Acme Studios, The Henry Moore Foundation, High House Production Park Ltd and Stephen Cripps’ family.

Totem Drift, Solo Show, 9-12 October

Totem Drift: Sculptural Conversations

Solo show by Rita Evans Images here

PV 9th October, 2014 at Past Vyner Street.

Plate Edited smaller


Artlicks 2014 Performance Programme

Always Falling/Flailing Up/Down, part of the Art Licks Weekend 2014 performance programme, HOST, curated by Eva Rowson and Radio Anti, supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

Saturday 4 October, 5pm. Bermondsey Spa Gardens.

See video here

Below: Snare Drum Roll 2014



38b Peckham Rye, South London Art Map

Eva Rowson talks about some of the exhibitions they’ve had at 38b, i’ve been involved in two…

Wife Drawing show of contemporary drawing


Patrick Coyle and Rita Evans – A Very Special Episode
An evening collaboration of performative, visual and sonic artworks
30 September 2010
38b Peckham Rye, London

Link to article

Material Encounters: Activating the Everyday, performance and materials workshop at Tate Modern

Materials and performance workshop by Rita Evans

Activating the Everyday: Material Encounters Tate Modern.

Do you ever wonder about the creative potential of everyday materials? How does performance feature in the process of art-making? To coincide with A Bigger Splash exhibition, this practical two day workshop invites you to engage with and activate a range of everyday materials such as foil, fabric, spices and paper through subtle gestures to explore and rethink your relationship to them and the world around you. Through visits to the exhibition, making sessions, group activities and discussion, you have the opportunity to handle these ideas and materials, culminating in an optional performance. Please bring with you an everyday material you would like to work with. No technical knowledge is required. All levels of ability are welcome.