Blue Oyster gallery in Dunedin turned 13 in April and I was asked to join in the celebrations by contributing a work to the group show Silk and Lace.
The show is also reviewed on Eye Contact
The show required the invited artists to address the title Silk and lace and also to respond to a previous exhibition at Blue Oyster.
I chose to respond to the 2009 exhibition by Australian artist Sylvia Swenk. This show, titled, They paved paradise, put up a parking lot, after Joni Mitchell’s 1970 song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ engaged with environmental issues and the human cost of unfettered capitalism. Swenk’s project took the form of a performance/ installation in the gallery and an interactive performance work, X Performance Dunedin, in which she choreographed and directed local participants to form a giant X with their bodies across an intersection connecting the Octagon to the surrounding streets.
Icing Sugar Floor Work
This work is a commemoration of the flower power movement and an acknowledgment of the fragility of the ideological high-ground.
Flower Performance X
My reworking of Swenks performance reflects upon the 99% occupation of the Octagon and pays tribute to civilian activism, from the flower Power era to present day. Rather than making the cross with the bodies of the participants I invited participants to lay a cross of flowers as gesture of support for peaceful protest past, present and future.