Installation Hepworth Wakefield, 2012
This body of work by Heather and Ivan Morison draws on the life and works of 20th century British novelist Anna Kavan (1901-1968). Kavan, born Helen Ferguson, produced a large body of elusive and strange work that operated somewhere between biography and science fiction, drawing on her own turbulent life.
Anna is an allegorical piece of object theatre that tells a brutal tale of love and loss set against the approaching threat of ‘the ice’. The story is presented through the objects in the gallery and the voices of the three narrators: the child, the girl and the warden. Anna, the mother of the child, ‘is the purest of ideas’, a form made from white chalk and bone. She meets a man, who is transformed into ‘the warden’ by fire, blackened and burnt in a war in which Anna loses her child. Each character, event and experience is represented by an object: Anna’s loss by an unlit candle; Anna and the warden’s broken love by a mended, leaking jug; the child by a floating dominant, sun-like sphere.
Anna considers our understanding of the world through myth, and how meaning comes to us through storytelling. It draws on the inherent symbolism of objects, their existing associations and their potential for new meaning. Set within The Hepworth Wakefield these objects speak of not only of the fate of Anna’s world but that of our own.
Performance and puppetry will play out the story of Anna, connecting the objects and the story to our experience of The Hepworth Wakefield. The three characters voice their story throughout the day and puppet performances were held twice a week.
Hepworth Wakefield, 2012
Lime wood, wax
A Dark and Silent Room,
Moist Wakefield river mud
My anus is swollen, large and bruised. It reminds me of a rose, but a dark red that is almost black, its bloom nearly over, petals wide and open and ready to fall at the slightest touch, not like the tight spring bud I remembered.
Wax, bone ash, china clay, carbonised lime wood
Large black wall work:
Carbonised bones, chimney soot, cliff chalk
White wall work:
Bone ash, cliff chalk
Drip work, intermittent water drips coming from ceiling landing on Bench, A Dark and Soundless Room and Small Bowl:
A vivid emerald sheet has stretched itself across the rectangle of water that covers the polished concrete of the gallery floor. The algae flourish in the still pool, warmed gently from beneath, through the concrete from below. Black charred timbers float, completely still, upon the surface, now islands of microscopic life. The light shines jade as it passes through the plant covered window panes. Huge ferns grow down from the suspended ceiling, finding footing in the lighting tracks, dropping their spores upon the lake below. The gallery is transformed into something far more beautiful and complex than ever could have been envisaged for it.
Drip heads, piping, rain water