The Strange Names Collective was formed in 2001 and is the work of Artistic director Philip Stanier and collaborators. Together we make performances that explore the peculiarity of existence. We are inspired by a deep curiosity about the complexity of the world, and our reciprocal relationship with our environment.

The collective has worked with a large number of collaborators, employing performance, writing, fine-art, photography, and video to create multi-part interdisciplinary performance projects.

Projects have included: 24 hour performances on the subject of happiness, the after show discussion for the worst show in the world ever, a collection of 451 photographs of people ‘being’ books, and an endless ribbon cutting ceremony.

Our work gives people the space to engage with the world through a quirky combination of memory, imagination, and storytelling.

In 2016 we were commissioned by Somerset House in London for for the Utopia 2016 festival. The project ‘The Naming of Clouds’, explored the cultural history of clouds and their use for daydreaming, became the first part in a cycle of works about environment.

In 2017 I was selected to be an artist in residence at the university of Bedfordshire in Luton on the Testbeds scheme. On the scheme we developed the second part of the cycle exploring Forests, through two performances ‘Forest Bathing’ and ‘A Clearing’.

For 2018 we delivered a new project ‘The Buried Moon’ as part of Lakes Ignite.

For 2019 we began development of a new work ‘An Invitation’.

Audience Reactions:

“Absolutely hilarious (in that very good way where there’s a faint edge of unease about the reasons why you are laughing), constantly unpredictable.”

“Fascinating! At times bizarre, unusual, thought-provoking. Throughly enjoyable.”

“It was a truly enjoyable evening full of charm, visually engaging, and fun!”