Associate Artist Gordon Douglas
Hello Pete! We’re delighted that you’ll be one of our Associate Artists over the next twelve months - what are you working on at Platform over the year ahead?
I’m going to be doing some work on FEELS a brand new project for children and young people exploring emotions and gender and, as one of the co-directors of KOR! Records I shall be continuing to work with bands like The Boys, at the Glenburn Centre and Loose Morals at Platform ahead of SWITCH 2018 on Friday 26th October. [For more information about SWITCH 2018 click here]
You have been working with Platform for a number of years now, can you tell about some of the recent projects you have enjoyed working here?
At the end of 2017 I worked with Ellie Dubois and Collectif and Then… on Fram & Dunt – a really charming, moving, and delightfully strange show performed by a circus artist (Fram) and her Dad (Dunt). We created it at Platform and it premiered at the Roundhouse this year – hopefully it will be back in Glasgow very soon!
I also had a brilliant time at Outskirts Festival this year. Loose Morals, a band that KOR! Records works with, performed in collaboration with Eilidh from Breakfast Muff in the café bar and totally rocked the place!
Apart from the work you do here at Platform, what do you do? Can you tell us a little about your work?
I’m part of a company called SUPERFAN that makes devised performances that are usually very playful and physical, and often incorporate true stories from our own lives or the people we work with. I work as a performer and director, and make work that is aimed at young audiences, as well as shows aimed at adults. I also work a lot with people who aren’t professional performers – the very first piece I made at Platform was a show with my Dad, and in a show I made a couple of years ago I performed alongside two young people from Easterhouse.
Often my work takes inspiration from true stories I’ve collected, or from elements of popular culture like film & TV, to explore something personal like fear or love. A lot of the time my work is also about gender and in particular masculinity, and I’m interested in finding ways of performing masculinity that are more healthy than most of the representations of men we usually see.
My ambition for the work I make is that it is entertaining and heartfelt and accessible, and that it looks at big ideas in unusual and interesting ways.
What do you enjoy about working at Platform?
I love Platform first of all because of the folk who I’ve met there, and because of the sense of community in the place. I’ve met loads of brilliant people just from being around the building, and it really feels like people are interested and care about what’s happening. It feels like Platform genuinely engages with the community it is a part of - in a way I don’t think I’ve seen done anywhere else. The audiences at Platform are always a mix of folk from different backgrounds, of different ages, and I think that’s exactly how it should be, and that’s where there is the most potential for exciting art and conversations to happen. It feels like Platform is always asking how work made there can engage more directly with the community, and how that community can feel ownership over the work made in Easterhouse – and I think the art is always the better for it.
Finally Pete, can you tell us a little bit about who inspires you and what influences the work you make?
I’m inspired by the people I work with – I find it hard to work alone and am always much more excited by being able to collaborate.
I think I’m inspired by the things I’m scared of or don’t know – a lot of the time the reason I make work about something is because I’m afraid of it or don’t understand it and creating performance is a way of me trying to figure it out.
My work also often has animals as characters in it – I think I’m inspired by animals and the natural world, and by unusual stories about humans and animals.