Photo by Cissi Tsang
Originally this show was billed as the Readycut Residency for the You Are Here festival 2016. We were due to be artists in residence in the Gudgenby Cottage in Namandgi National Park, but didn’t make it because some controlled burns became out of control. So instead, we hiked to Pocket’s hut on the other side the Bimberi ranges and lived out our residency there.
Written with an eye for capturing the starkness, danger and beauty of the Australian landscape, Civil Eyes // The Wild draws the audience into asking where familiar concepts of ‘wilderness’ fit with humanity’s rapacious ecology, as well as engaging with personal questions of life and death outside the city walls. The show engages with the familiar country of Henry Lawson’s ‘Man from Snowy River’, taking themes familiar to bush poets and re-presenting them with a more modern poetic. The show moves from rapid-fire satire to slow-burn meditations and intimate reflections, all accompanied by a gripping soundtrack procedurally generated from images of the landscape itself. There is no rhyming or pentameter here. The work intentionally questions the romanticism of the wild places, especially when viewed though eyes that are irrevocably civil and metropolitan.
Photo by Sarah Walker