Mette Sterre, MA Performance Design & Practice at Central Saint Martins, is another of our fabulous alumni to be selected for the Catlin Guide 2015. Here she talks about how her time at CSM and her unique performance art…
Why were you drawn to Performance Design? And what made you want to move to London, and particularly CSM to study?
I’ve always been in love with London, ever since I was five years old I knew I had to be here. Roaming the streets with my parents when I was 12, I knew it wasn’t just my imagination. I did my BA in fine Art in Rotterdam and started to do performances whilst studying, encouraged by one of my tutors ten years ago. I knew I wanted to a masters abroad and I knew I always wanted to live in London. I also knew I wanted to understand and learn from the history of theatre, be conscious of its discourses and so luckily I ended up at Central Saint Martins. I had a bit of sidewinding in the road that brought me here, but thank God my mama taught me perseverance.
Describe your time at Central Saint Martins in three words…
crazy sexy cool, no just kidding: challenging privileged and enlightening
Would you recommend the course?
Yes, definitely, you can do what you want with the support of peers and the amazing staff in the workshops, and your tutors (of course). I understood and was able to apply new knowledge to my practice but also understand so much better how we construct reality through our belief systems.
Tell us about your work?
My work deals with the grotesque; the world of topsy-turvy, the paradox and the uncanny. I make sculptural costumes on which I base a narrative and create a performance.
Like a Dr. Frankenstein, I sew body parts together, creating new forms of living beings in the forms of sculptural costumes. I’m interested in distorting the human contours. By the de-identification of the human body I question the stigmatisation of “the other” and the social construction of identity.
My work critiques on contemporary culture; I’m inspired by fiobinacci patterns in nature, the notion of animism, artifice and horror movies.
I’m super happy if my audience experiences uncanniness and doesn’t know how to define whether the creatures I make are human or not.
How do you think being selected for the Catlin guide will benefit you?
It’s amazing to be part of this great selection of artists and to get the thumbs up by the selection committee. I hope I’ll be able to reach more potential collaborators, audience members and interesting places to make new projects with and in.
What are your plans for the next few years?
I hope to make a new theatre production in which I want to work together with a dance group and musicians; collaboration, make music videos, travel, expand and get back into drawing and photography. Develop tools to create my costumes more rapidly or get some assistants. Grow as an artist, learn to explore and develop. Open up a design studio possibly maybe.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The bible/lifelineguide of my life is Baz Luhrman’s song “everybody’s free to wear sunscreen”, I try to live by this song. Recently I also got this great piece of advice which was “you may have missed the past but the future belongs to you” which is also a pretty good one.
Where do you live? And what are your favourite hangouts?
I’m currently a true European citizen, travelling from one place to another and I am in the super position to have two bases; London and Rotterdam. I love the Wellcome collection library, it might sound a bit dull but I just lalala-love books. In Rotterdam it probably would be the Koffie Lokaal, great coffee and interior.