It seems that this is a year about LAND. In February I made a new short work for Turner Contemporary Gallery ‘Becoming Land’. It was part of their late night ‘Elemental’ series and fittingly the performance took place in the surroundings of walking artist, Hamish Fulton’s retrospective. I have recently started work on a Big Dance commission from Siobhan Davies Dance creative projects Together with Janine Harrington and Vanessa Cook, we are making large scale new promenade work, LAND. LAND will be performed by 40 young people from 7 South London Boroughs on 7th July, on a beautiful National Trust site, Morden Hall Park. I feel that I have spent much of this Spring in the LAND spanning from North Yorkshire, to the Spanish Pyrenees, the Cotswolds and closer to home, my regular meanderings across the South Downs.
‘Becoming Land’ started its life last July whilst I was on residency at the K3 Choreographic Centre, Hamburg, Germany and Le Pacifique CDC, Grenoble, France. During that time I became increasingly interested in these ideas landing, becoming the land, composting. What is it to land? How is that different from falling, crumbling, collapsing? What tone does it hold in the body? If we allow the body to truly surrender to the ground on which we lie, how much can we become the land? How much is this about dying and being born – about the cycles of living and dying. At that point, I didn’t know exactly where this investigation was taking me, and so at the end of the residency times, we kind of left it hanging. Left it to settle, to find it’s form. And it seems that 7 months later, readily it found it’s place easily for Turner Contemporary.
I feel that it will find it’s place also among new works over the coming months. Certainly LAND for the Big Dance commission from Siobhan Davies will incorporate aspects of these ideas. Indeed, LAND as whole looks to highlight the land that we find at Morden Hall Park. The performance seeks to enable a new experience of the park for both the audience and the participants by drawing on the sculpture, rhythm, form of the landscape that is already there. In accordance with this, it seems appropriate and necessary to spend as much time in the ‘land’ as possible. To notice small details and sweeping sensations. To see where the movement lies. To see where the body can sit in that land and add something exciting and new.