I Need To Be Ready- Tasks 1-5  is a series of performance art actions.

On Friday 27 March I made the above performance in the Burren National Park. By then I’d received  of the cancellation/postponement of most of my upcoming projects due to Covid19. 

I decided to make a performance in response to this situation, and in it, combine some of the themes I had been developing into one performance. A particular concept I had been developing was the idea of a performance based around being Ready. 

I need to be ready- A durational physical performance art work. The artist compiles a list of actions to be carried out. These actions are designed to help someone be as prepared, as ready as possible for whatever might come along, whether it be unexpected, or anticipated and inevitable; good news, bad news, personal loss, cataclysmic environmental change, personal injury, illness, political upheaval, war. Who knows what life might have in store? The actions are to be carried out one after the other, and repeated until the artist can no longer carry them out. 

I decided to try and carry out some of the tasks I'd included in 'Ready', and seek out an isolated space to complete a strength training session. The isolated space would allow the work to comply with social isolation guidelines.

I completed the tasks wearing a nice dress I owned but had never previously worn, as the overturning of normality with covid 19 meant that waiting to wear a garment seemed faintly ridiculous. It was time to create my own occasion. 


It was important to me that the tasks be carried out in a magnificent, awe-inspiring environment where the actions would appear suitably insignificant in the greater scheme of things.

Co-coincidentally that evening, new restrictions were announced re the 2k-travel limitation. So this was the last day I could have made this work.

The work is based around strength training tasks as I use strength training as a tool to both maintain strength and to manage anxiety. 


Training Task 1: Sledgehammer blows. To maintain strength and manage anxiety, using my sledgehammer and tyre.

Training Task 2: Sledgehammer 10/2's.This is an exercise traditionally done using a mace, but a long handled sledgehammer works just as well. Great for upper body strength and shoulder mobility.

Training Task 3: Weighted squats wearing my weights vest. It has removable weights so as to customize its weight but for this task I kept it full, at 20kg. A human moves differently when weighed down.

Training Task 4: Travelling Lunges, which are good for building lower body strength.

Training Task 5: Bear Crawling which is excellent for building core strength and neural coordination.


These strength/art actions were performed at the base of Mullaghmore, Burren, Co Clare, so as to meet the Covid 19 pandemic social isolation guidelines. 27/3/20. Film credits Paul Corey


@2016 by Rachel McManus.

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