Hanna Tuulikki Seals'kin (2022 film still).

Hanna Tuulikki Seals’kin Vocal Workshop and Performance

Join artist Hanna Tuulikki for a vocal workshop and take part in an improvised performance in Plymouth.

Workshop: 12 Nov, 2pm (duration: 2.5 hours). Location: Room 206-207 Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth University
Performance: 13 Nov, 9am (duration: 45 minute). Location: Devils Point.

Seals’kin: calling for the turning of the tide*

Come together to sing an improvised lamentation based on fragments of Scottish seal-calling songs.

Join artist Hanna Tuulikki for a vocal workshop on Saturday 12 followed by an improvised waterside performance on Sunday 13 November as part of British Art Show 9.

For as long as humans have inhabited the earth, we have shared the seas, coasts and islands with seals – web-footed mammals adapted to life in the water. In Scottish folklore, mythical seal people known as selkies were said to shed their skins and step from water as humans until mysteriously disappearing back to sea. Embedded within the folklore are a number of musical traditions that appear to blur the line between human and grey seal, including melodies which imitate their plaintive sounds and haunting seal-calling songs sung to attract seals to the shore.

Plymouth’s waterfront is occasionally visited by grey seals that have been spotted by walkers and swimmers around Devil’s Point. In November 2022, join artist Hanna Tuulikki in Plymouth alongside fellow performers Nic Green and Jude Williams in two sessions of vocal improvisation and performance, exploring seal calling songs as practices of making kin.

The first session will be a workshop rooted in Tuulikki’s exploratory vocal practice. The group will be introduced to the folkloric material and guided in a gentle vocal improvisation based on traditional seal calling songs.

2pm: Arrive and Welcome
2.30pm: Singing Workshop

Workshop Location: Room 206-207 Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA

Parking at Plymouth University:There are several car parks in the city centre that are close by. We recommend Regents Street Car Park as that is the closest. Unfortunately, the university doesn’t have onsite parking due to building work. The university do have a limited number of disabled parking slots close to the advised entrance. This will need a disabled parking badge to avoid any issues.

The following day, workshop participants are invited to meet the shore to perform an improvised lament to the water at high tide, calling the seals, inviting them to the surface.

09.00-9.45am: Improvised Performance
Performance Location: Devil’s Point, PL1 3RS.

Register your place on Eventbrite – capacity is limited to 50 spaces.

Participants must be aged 16+. No singing experience needed.
Please wear sensible shoes and bring waterproofs and a bottle of water. No dogs allowed (seals get nervous of dogs!).

* This workshop and performance is part of a larger body of work by Hanna Tuulikki called Seals’kin, exploring myths of human-seal hybridity and folkloric musical practices to offer alternative forms of identification with more-than-human kin.

Hanna Tuulikki is a British-Finnish artist, composer and performer based in Scotland. Her multi-disciplinary projects investigate the ways in which the body communicates beyond and before words, to tell stories through imitation, vocalisation and gesture. With a largely place-responsive process, she considers how bodily relationships and folk histories are encoded within specific environments, ecologies and places. In her work, she often draws on embodied vernacular knowledges, in particular, practices of vocal and gestural mimesis of the more-than-human, to offer alternative approaches to making kin, both with one other, and across multi-species entanglements. Her most recent work engages with vital questions about what it means to live on a damaged planet, proposing contemporary, queer ritual, as a means to process the trauma that comes with ecological awareness.

Tuulikki’s practice spans live performance, music, moving image and multi-channel audio-visual installation, blending together textural extended vocal composition, choreography, costume and visual score drawings. Her critically acclaimed work has been commissioned and presented by organisations across visual, musical and performing arts in the UK, Europe, USA, India and Australia.

Hanna Tuulikki‌ ‌(born‌ ‌1982,‌ ‌Sussex)‌ ‌lives‌ ‌and‌ ‌works‌ ‌in‌ ‌Glasgow.‌ Tuulikki‌ ‌studied‌ ‌at‌ ‌The Glasgow‌ ‌School‌ ‌of‌ ‌Art.‌

Seals’kin in Plymouth is delivered by KARST as part of British Art Show 9 and with support from Paul Mellon Centre. The project is produced in Plymouth by Flock South West.