Stephen Rudder Tough Blood

health, identity

What do we have to live with?

Tough Blood is a collaboration between filmmaker Stephen Rudder and choreographer Skylitz, and features the voices of people living with sickle cell disease. Through performance and documentation the artwork brings personal insight, scientific research and the history of black trauma and perseverance together, opening up conversations around heritage, migration and perceptions of sickle cell anaemia. The video piece runs for 15 minutes.

Tough Blood was informed by conversations with Professor David Rees, a consultant and senior lecturer in paediatric haematology at King’s College Hospital, London. David has research and clinical interests in paediatric sickle cell disease, and other inherited red cell abnormalities, including porphyrias, thalassaemia and enzymopathies.

Collaborating artists:

Skytilz – Choreographer

Skytliz’s previous work includes choreography for the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics and the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. She has choreographed for movies including T2: Trainspotting 2 (Danny Boyle), Street Dance 3D and Allstars 3D (Vertigo Films). She is also a choreographer and dancer for Boy Blue Entertainment.

Richard Edwards – Composer

Richard has been composing music for documentaries for a number of years. He holds a Masters in Music Composition, having specialised in using electronic sound design with acoustic instruments. His work has been recognised internationally and was featured in the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Most recently, Richard has been working in LA as a sound editor on the remake of Roots with Alex Hesses.

Kwame Asafo-Adjei  – Dancer

Kwame Asafo-Adjei has been dancing for seven years, while also developing his own vision through his dance company Spoken Movement UK. In addition to producing Obibini (Redbridge Drama Centre), Kwame has curated and choreographed dance for Breakin’ Convention, Open Art Surgery and Coca Cola for the 2012 Olympic Ceremony.

What do you bloody think?

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The Artist: Stephen Rudder

Stephen Rudder is a multimedia artist and founder of Quiet Voice, an experimental film production company that works to bring unheard voices to light. Rudder’s past work includes ‘This is your History’ the opening feature of the permanent and internationally recognised ‘London, Sugar and Slavery’ gallery at the Museum of London, Docklands; ‘Body Beyond Death’, commissioned by Wellcome Collection and the Museum of London; the digital film promoting the collective London Museum’s offer to the 2012 Cultural Olympiad; a commission by UNESCO to document contemporary artists working in Ethiopia promoting the UNESCO 2005 International convention; an experimental documentation of an Afro-futurist weeklong project ‘Mission to the Land of Misplaced Memories’ at Tate Britain in collaboration with WriteTalkListen and Dubmorphology.

Tough Blood is produced by Rudder in collaboration with choreographer, Skytilz, whose previous work includes choreography for the Closing Ceremony of the Winter Paralympics (Sochi, Russia) 2014 and the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics; choreography for the movies T2 Trainspotting (Danny Boyle), ‘Street Dance 3D’ and ‘Allstars 3D’ (Vertigo Films); choreography and dance for Boy Blue Entertainment.

27 July - 13 November Blood