MAN BY RIVER
a passerby was invited to be a participant in this artwork,
he was tasked to collect rubbish from the location,
organize the items in a way that made sense to him,
once done he was then asked to rake around his offering,
when he was happy with his raking result he then had to dispose of the rubbish at the appropriate rubbish bins nearby.
what is left is a trace of this task.
At first glance the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia is a pristine waterway that attracts humans and animals to share the embrace of this beautiful resource. However, once one is standing on the bank of the river, one cannot help but see the various forms and amount of rubbish that is littered about. Therefore, I invite the public to assist in creating an ephemeral art work in which the process involves picking up rubbish.
Our first participant was an elderly chap who had no experience in making art, or appreciating art, but he was most happy to help. His approach to each step / task was methodical and provocative. He displayed a single-minded resolve in applying himself to reach the final step. His doggedness and singular focus attracted onlookers. The chatter between the audience joined the calls of the various birdlife along with the hum of modern city life in the background and other natural sounds in the foreground provided an aural cocoon. The audience were curious passersby that decided to stay, to witness what was folding and unfolding before them. Once our volunteer had completed all stages, the audience were effusive in their response, before continuing their interrupted journey. A few delayed their departure to congratulate him. He shook his head and said “I am not an artist!”
My improvisational public choreographies inhabit nontraditional performance venues such as public spaces, local parks, and other natural settings. I enjoy presenting my work in these settings as they feel well-suited to the nature of my work. I see these improvisations by the local public as moving works of art that are akin to a kaleidoscopic kinetic sculpture.
I view my work as a place-based and play-based practice, where my love of improvisation drives the creation of works that are inspired by their place of origin. Often these works are ephemeral. My contemporary dance has evolved towards designing socially engaged performances as a solo practice, and in collaboration with other likeminded artists such as Lisa Hirmer (Canada).