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Wild Dress

Research and development 

Afri-Co-Lab are recruiting 2 freelance positions for a 2 day, creative research and development project on behalf of Theatremaker Zoe Svendsen & sustainable fashion scholar Kate Fletcher. The work takes place at Afri-Co-Lab, St Leonards-On-Sea on Thursday 23rd & Friday 24th September. 


An inter-disciplinary artist.

We are looking for a Black or Person of Colour inter-disciplinary artist with a performance practice, experience of working with the public and or communities. The role will include creating stories through conversations.


Dates & Times

Thursday 12-6pm & reflection debrief on zoom  8pm-9:30pm

Friday 10am-4pm & reflection debrief  8pm-9:30pm in person

£200 per day

RnD project assistant.

We are looking for a person to assist on this phase of the RnD. This role is multi-functionary: supporting the creative needs of the work and, supporting Zoe with computer and admin tasks; such note taking, typing up notes, photo documentation, preparing the space, posting to Instagram etc. Excellent organisational & communication skills, good time keeping, sensitivity to the work and an understanding of an artistic performance process. Knowledge of the central St Leonards would be a plus but not a deal breaker,

Dates & Times

Thursday 11:15-6:30pm reflection debrief  7:50pm-9:45pm zoom 

Friday 9:45am – 4:30pm reflection debrief  7:30pm-10pm in person 

£200 per day





Send us 1 or 2 paragraphs telling us about your work and/or practice, any work experience you have in relation to the project and what sparks your interest in this work. 


***Also if you have no direct work or professional experience in the arts but your life experience would speak to this project please do.apply***


Send an email with the above to 

With the subject line : Wild Dress


About The Project


I think we need some hybrid vigour… a nature-culture hybrid which bleeds through seams, races into a weave and labours into a garment’s cut. A hybrid with a more integrated relationship with the natural world. This is how I want to dress. A wardrobe that welcomes wildness.


Kate Fletcher, ‘Wilding Clothing’, Wild Dress (2019)

Wild Dress is a collection of nine brief essays by Kate Fletcher, Professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion, London of College Fashion. Published in 2019 by Uniform Books, it takes the reader on an intimate journey through the ways in which we interact with nature and landscape, by, with and through our clothing. Drawing on biographical experience of hills, woods and a life shaped by urban concerns, Fletcher explores the relationship between the garments we wear, and our embeddedness in nature.


With Zoë Svendsen, director and dramaturg, known for creating interactive and immersive hybrid art-performance events, and Carolyn Downing, award-winning theatre and exhibition sound designer, we have started to explore ways of bringing these stories to life for a live audience. We are seeking residency time to be able to focus together on these questions.

We also want to think about how this performance might be specifically suited to a post-Covid world of performances careful to maintain a certain distance between audience members. Having always conceived our audience members as participants, both an outdoor location, and a certain independence from the crowd, are key features of the core concept for the work.



Fashion has long been synonymous with escapism, with trying to free itself from the world and resource limits; with operating as if it is separate from the Earth, the soil, the health of its people. But such a thing is impossible. Fashion and clothes are part of the world.


Through a staging of the stories of Wild Dress, the radical, everyday experience of being dressed becomes a gateway to a new relationship with nature. The staging ‘re-stories’ fashion – the poster-child of high carbon culture – as interdependence between garments and nature as part of life and living, rooted in capabilities and action.


The staging will be intimate and participatory, taking place in a woodland or other wild landscape, possibly in a festival context. The idea for a performance in the woods is that it will be the first in evolving sequence where aspects are recorded and replayed in a new setting (such as a home, a launderette) with different performers, choreography and garments.


Each iteration of the project will involve building and recreating stories of clothing and nature in new ways, alongside different audiences. Each will also emerge out of previous iterations, using recordings, ambient sound from previous locations – allowing us to adapt the performance to each particular circumstance. If possible we also hope to develop a programme of engagement around the performances, in which people can contribute stories, weaving together a wider understanding of how we might alter peoples’ understanding of the relationship between clothing and environment, equipping us for a post-carbon, post-colonial world, in which the clothing industry is no longer full of damage, waste and destruction, but is restructured around the idea of symbiosis between ourselves and the natural world around us.



To explore how to use the stories of Wild Dress to draw out our audiences’ own stories of how they understand their relationship to landscape, with clothes as a conduit to how we are in the living world around us.


To work out strategies for engagement that make everyone feel like their story is heard – through modelling story-telling by performers who shape the conversation, and encourage each voice.


To work out the structure of the performance


To explore how we might invite audiences to put on garments of different textures, that make different sounds as they walk, in order to listen (and to place them firmly where they are, in their own bodily rhythms)


To work out how to make this a work of breathing together, firelight, and immersion in the living world.

Aims for R&D:

Aim & concept:

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