REVIEW: yu have already survived by gobscure @ Live Theatre, Newcastle (24.05.24) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Dan Russell

On what suddenly became a very hot day, I arrived at Live Theatre in a fluster to catch the opening of the new installation yu have already survived by gobscure. It’s been a busy week, I’m melting and trying to catch my breath from a bad decision of taking the stairs. I arrive at the exhibition and it immediately transports me somewhere calm. Cool. Quiet. The studio space has been transformed into an immersive colourful celebration of nature, punk and love. I take a deep breath to take it all in, the sound of water trickling through the space. This is just what I needed today. 

The room is decorated with splashes of luminous colour on black card – they are gorgeous yet simple art works which radiate with joy, speaking messages of hope, growth, stillness and coming back to nature. I make my way around the room passing a huge absorbing lightbox featuring lettering of the exhibition’s title. Banners on the walls shout calm and caring messages of hope, and in the centre is a spot lit handmade flower pot with a delicate paper bird beside it. A special highlight was the roll of ‘fragile’ tape with scissors dangling below, encouraging audiences to snip off a piece themselves to take, and create their own meaning and words from. 

Perfectly woven into the space is the audio/visual element which plays throughout on a screen. The first instalment is a series of images featuring rippling waters and snippets of nature in all of its beauty. gobscure’s beautiful harmonies and folky, poetic tales overlay the piece, chanting messages of slowness, self-healing and self-love. Love your madness. 

The second piece is a punk poem with gobscure’s gentle and grounding voice carrying us through blurred binaries and boundaries, mixing memories with the mythical and tearing apart and remaking words and worlds.

The echoes of punk ethos are loud in this space; it’s a DIY gentle rebellion, handmade with anger and care. And most importantly, it keeps asking why. Why are we constantly expected to keep up with the high speeds of life? It felt defiant just spending time in this space away from the busy overwhelming noise of the city. The message is strong: coming back to nature and stillness as a radical act of defiance – and the choice to truly love yourself for who you are.

An artist with a true punk heart, gobscure is a kind, gentle soul who’s carefully selected words and images speak on so many different levels. The work is filled with rage and fuelled by love. I loved that they guide us along in their world, with no demands for us to understand or catch up with them, but just to walk beside them and enjoy the journey there.

yu have already survived includes accompanying live performances on 28th May and 1st June, plus a special gig with Late Girl on 30th May. I’d recommend this experience to anyone who’d like a little escape from the everyday.

yu have already survived is at Live Theatre, Newcastle until Wednesday 5th June.

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