Performance and Drawings at St Mary’s Church
Laurence Rushby, March 2019
(first presented at Hansard gallery in July 2016 as part of Playground).
Ashes to Ashes is a performance which was developed following a visit to ‘The Jungle’, refugee camp in Calais, in 2015,during which the camp was devastated by a storm and fire. The performance investigates the process of destruction/creation which is inherent to nature and to our life on earth. The work sends our gaze beyond the camp, and brings to the surface the global issues of migration and climate change, two forces which are intricately linked. The work is developed as a continuous process of reproducing the rectangular shape of the 40 shelters which were destroyed on the night of my visit. The work sits amongst the visitors who may or may notice its presence, while walking through the space.
The central circle, a tin shape found in the rubble, may contain the key to our resilience and survival. The ‘Letter to Fantnu’, a lost message written on my return home, is displayed in the performance space. The performance was first acted in July 2016, during ‘Playground’, at Hansard Gallery. The work also includes a series of 4, A2 sizes ashes drawings which may be presented in the gallery to echo the performance.
In the current context of Brexit, I wish to revisit this performance to bring new insight on the impact the artwork may have on the emotional and empathic power of art to raise global awareness and trigger a move towards action.