The initial impetus for all my laser cut paper vessels was a commission from Dartington Arts to work with veteran U.S. site specific choreographer Stephan Koplowitz and his company Taskforce for LIQUID LANDSCAPES, on a series of water related dance performances in Plymouth in June 2009.
Stephan Koplowitz is an award winning director/choreographer/media artist internationally known for his work on the concert stage and for creating original site-specific multi-media works for architecturally significant sites such as Grand Central Station New York, The Natural History Museum and British Library London. His site work aims to alter people’s perspectives of place, site, and scale, all infused with a sense of the human condition.
I was thrilled to be invited as a guest artist. Stephan very rarely works with any kind of prop or set, usually letting the site guide the dancers’ response. I certainly felt a weight of responsibility, and also an anxiety about producing outdoor paper sculptures for the unpredictable English summer!
Having grown up by the sea in Devon and as a small child always having been very aware of the poignancy of the chosen site of the Mayflower Steps, the commission was very inspiring indeed. Stephan was a joy to work with, setting my imagination off in all sorts of directions. I spent that summer playing with myriad variations on the theme of paper boats and floating them along the Devon coast.
The result, a site specific installation of over 300 multi coloured paper vessels that the dancers responded to, danced with, along and around . The Mayflower Steps mark the final English departure point of 102 passengers who set sail in the Mayflower in 1620 across the Atlantic.
After a 66-day voyage they founded New England’s first permanent colony at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. However, only 53 passengers survived to celebrate America’s first Thanksgiving a year later.
PHOTO CREDIT: Anna Keleher
For more information visit http://WWW.dartington.org/arts/taskforce