As our societies and cultures have progressed, how many of us are still in touch with our natural world? Likewise, how much longer can the earth and its resources be exploited with very little regard to the consequences for the future? Land and water are bought, sold and owned to the exclusion of others. The long-term impacts of mining, crude methods of disposing waste and the destruction of natural land have unknown consequences that should provoke questioning of not only environmental, political and economic changes, but also emotional and spiritual anxieties.
The conceptual point of departure for Island is to consider the land as a body, one that is alive, vulnerable, and as socially contextualized as our own. This acknowledges that the body of landscape, like mine, is a political body subject to regulation, domination and exploitation, and at the same time, it commends care and respect.
Island is a solo performance art piece that uses sand, stones and water to investigate a relationship with the earth. It begins with an oral account of how my body relates to space; both physically and through time. This is followed by a sequence of actions that explore shifting sensitivities shown towards the materials I am working with, starting with playful gestures and eventually leading to a more controlled and overtly manipulative manner. Each section will be marked by a change in what I am wearing. Starting the performance in my underwear, I will put on more clothing until I am completely dressed in a business suit. This change will echo the way in which my body relates physically to what I am working with. The performance will conclude with me shedding my clothing and reconsidering the materials that I have introduced within the space.
The total length of the performance would be 40 to 50 minutes.
This performance was premiered in Calgary at the M:ST Festival on October 8, 2014 and redone at the Nature Art Festival with the musician Mai Mai in Shanghai and at the Meta Live, in Chongqing.