Louise Ashcroft’s work challenges authority by transforming ordinary spaces like the street, stranger's homes, trade fairs and supermarkets, to uncover alternate realities. For example, challenging shoppers to a site-specific Mallopoly game which creatively reclaims the mall; mailing parcels of soil from Privately Owned Public spaces to their overseas investors; attempting to attract a sea monster to Hastings for regeneration purposes; and teaching kids to write nonsense letters to the Prime Minister by reconfiguring the newspaper. Louise has shown widely, including with Arebyte, The Government Art Collection, Latitude Festival, Boring Conference, TEDx, Turner Contemporary, and BBC iPlayer. She teaches at Goldsmiths and UCA, and co-founded free art school AltMFA.
Louise will use the bursary to develop new comedy sketches and participatory performances reflecting on how we live now. Her piece Why Don’t We Live Together (in which she plans hypothetical shared futures with strangers while helping them with their housework) will be adapted for a café and she will initiate a drawing-based pen-pal network to psychologically connect people who would never normally meet. Mentors will assist with research into new ways of using voice and gesture in Louise’s performances. Aims: fighting alienation, nonsense as resistance, experimental kinship, hacktivism.