Credible & Likeable.
Bryony Kimmings is a one-woman, creative powerhouse on a mission for “world domination”. An award winning performance artist, Bryony has a track record of shows tackling thorny social issues such as: 7 Day Drunk and Sex Idiot and not such thorny issues like Mega - about a space-ship shaped restaurant called ‘Megatron’ on the A14.
Bryony’s approach is autobiographical, innovative and challenging. Sex Idiot is about her contracting a sexually transmitted infection and how this led to her reconnecting with her sexual past and ex-lovers.
In 7 Day Drunk, Bryony, who once said "I feel I am a better artist when drunk or hungover” engaged a GP, a psychologist and a neuroscientist to monitor changes to her over a week of binge drinking. The experiment was made into a documentary and some of the footage was also used in her live show as well as an interview with her alcoholic ex-housemate. Audiences voted to test her hunch linking creativity to booze.
Bryony divides her time between London, where she is Chair of the Solo Artists Group at Soho Theatre and Cambridge, where she runs the Youth Company at The Junction.
Bryony’s alter-ego, Catherine Bennett, is her most ambitious yet. Catherine is a pop star, designed by her nine year old niece, with a plan to take on Rihanna, Katy Perry and any other floozies that might get in her way.
Bryony and her niece, Taylor, enjoy a close and special relationship. After a recent move they started hanging out more but the insight this gave into Taylor’s world was troubling. The content pushed at her by mainstream media is predictably anodyne, sexualized and value free. This got Bryony thinking, could they co-create a pop star that inspired and engaged youngsters without resorting to obvious conventional methods and actually deal with important issues that will affect the lives of young people. The answer is an emphatic - yes!
Bryony describes her newest artwork as a “credible, likeable, superstar, role model (a successful stage show)” and an “audacious and provocative protest against the world’s flagrant attempts to sexualise and commodify childhood.” She so far has three pop videos on her dedicated site: Animal Kingdom, Apathy and The Future. Her niece gave clear instructions that the music should be like Gorrilaz, Lily Allen and the B52s. Catherine is a paleontologist, she works in a museum and stylewise she is geek… clearly, a new type of popstar is emerging to inspire youngsters.
Why this matters.
This project operates on multiple levels. For young girls it offers an unusual and unexpected pop star to enjoy and emulate who is created without the usual commercial baggage and accompanying commodification. For young boys there is access to feminism in an easily accessible and non-confrontational way. The art work also functions as an elaborate and intriguing culture jam - presenting a “f*** you” to the mainstream media which seems to operate largely in a moral vacuum.
Bryony hopes to empower young people specifically by introducing them to ideas such as voting and that they can be selective about the media they are exposed to. Conventional media is full of negativity by presenting a dinosaur-loving, bike-riding, tuna-pasta-eating pop star, Bryony aims to demonstrate that an alternative is possible.
This important mission has several “fame aims” including that Catherine should have 3 celebrity endorsements, to be on the cover of a magazine and 1 million youtube views. Please help her to get there by sharing CB's videos below so that kids have access to an alternative popstar.
See the Catherine Bennett in action:
For ages 6 – 9
Saturday 25 – Tuesday 28 October
12 noon & 3pm
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
Director & Producer: Robbie Lockie | Videographer & Editor: Lewis Noll | Article: Matt Mellen