Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Performance Art

Today has been quite a busy day for me. Normally content to spend time on my novel and avoid the outside world, I have ventured out twice. This evening I went along to St Gregory's Church Gallery to support a new friend, Sarah, who was doing a piece of performance art, accompanied by some friends reading, singing and playing instruments.

Sarah started the performance in the middle of a huge ring of night light candles, flickering gently. She was clothed from head to foot in white and silver. Wearing a white lacy type mask she stood tall, wrapped in different white layers, with a long black mesh train, decked out with, yes I could hardly believe it, suitcases. The silver completing the ensemble gave the appearance of wings. She definitely looked like some kind of Angel as she moved purposefully around the stage, emitting haunting sounds which echoed in the churches rafters.

Then as her co-performers read excerpts of her friends book between them, Sarah started to untangle and lose the different layers of her costume. First getting rid of the cumbersome baggage she was trailing around with her. Then she started to tear off her skirt, made of brown paper. Next to go was the unwinding of her upper body which had been modelled out of plaster cast bandages.

By this time her friend was playing haunting music at the back of the church, that filled the room with its melodies. To the sound of the piano accordion, Sarah finally removed the white mask, only to reveal a black one underneath. Then off came her long white dress, which was hiding a skin tight black outfit with the bare bones of the skeleton on the front.

Having relieved herself of all the bonds of daily living she was left with the raw passion that lurks beneath all of us. Once these ties had been removed, she danced with the raw passion that is her sexuality, grace and innocence, all at once. The dancing continued to different songs and instruments, all with unique styles and as the evening outside grew darker, so the candlelight became more stunning.

It was a very moving and well thought out performance and I am sure that Sarah and her musician friend will both be very happy with their final piece of performance art, for their degrees.

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