National Theatre Wales
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For Mountain, Sand and Sea
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Postive_Negative was conceived as a two-prong sculptural installation. Positive, a two-dimensional series of recognisable boat forms, and Negative, a spatial alien not concerned with any sense of assimilation to site. It formed part of a series of visual art and site-specific performances commissioned by National Theatre Wales for the town of Barmouth, co-artistic directed with my long-time collaborator Marc Rees. The project: For Mountain Sand and Sea combined the challenges of conceiving visual and performance art that could be in part understood, enjoyed and stared at by the town's inhabitants and the volume of day and weekend trippers. The design for Positve_Negative strove to connect with the town's rich maritime history but my idea, devoid of sophistication to the technical craftsmanship of boat building, was informed not from the complexities of compound curves and streamed ply but from plastic model kits of fighter jets and PT boats, hailing from such famous brands as Revell and Airfix. Abstracted representations of bow, stern, ribbing, decking, cabin, sails etc., were cut from sheets of ply, forming the positive sections of boat construction. Positive was assembled in a series of snap-out frames scaled up to 5 meters in height and installed in an interior space. The leftover negative forms of the ply, Negative, were installed on a concrete foundation of a deceased building. Its conceptual core was to engage an audience by positioning their bodies to each other. Taking or remembering Daniel Libeskind's 1980s intersectional drawings as plan, bodies passing through the series of cut-out ply sheets would need to negotiate others likewise negotiating. Performances of error would result when bodies collided and non-programmed choreographies would result.
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