Humour is a slippery fish: a conversation between Catriona Gallagher and Siân Robinson Davies
Recently I responded to an open call to participate in a performance project by Siân Robinson Davies, an artist I had met a few times before. Usually I wouldn’t be interested in this kind of thing, as I have an aversion to the idea of being in front of an audience, but it caught my eye as I have been on the lookout for a subject for this article. I’d been asked to write about an Edinburgh based artist and I’ve been intrigued by Siân’s work for a while, having seen, by chance, a gig she did at The Stand comedy club last year, so I emailed her expressing interest. We arranged to meet at her studio in Rhubaba, an artist run space in Leith, to discuss the idea. I thought I could use the opportunity to find out some information for my writing, and decided to record the meeting surreptitiously. I’d prepared in a café over few coffees planning how I could steer our conversation towards the questions I wanted to ask about her practice. The caffeine had left me feeling a little edgy, and I was nervous because, with Siân, I’ve been told you can never be quite sure when she’s being serious and when she’s joking.
Siân Robinson Davies: Hey Catriona, thanks for coming. Thanks for replying to my email, How are you? Would you like coffee?
Catriona Gallagher: Err, yeah, I’ve already had one but that’d be great, thanks.
SRD: Grab a chair.
CG: Great, thank you. So maybe you could tell me about what I’d be doing in your project?
SRD: Sure, right, well firstly I should say I’m so glad you’re excited about this project, I really try to work with people who are really passionate about this stuff, you know? And I should also say that it’s really not about me telling you what to do, I’m not imagining that I would be giving you directions. The idea is more about a life practice than an art piece, which is key. But that’s why I wanted to speak to you, because your reply to the call I put out seemed really in tune with that idea. So great, thanks again for coming.