Happidrome 2 : FILM/PHOTO/ARTEFACT FILM/PHOTO/ARTEFACT - an exhibition of the CUT/STACK/BURN archive - was the second site specific presentation of place based work to appear at the Happidrome. The show developed out of an invitation from the HEATH project to stage an event for their ‘HEATH FEST’ and Sara Bowler, artist and curator for Happidrome. During the exhibition a show reel of films that recorded the progress and demise of the C/S/B project were shown as part of a rolling programme. A collection of playful artefacts generated by C/S/B and the peripheral activity surrounding it - from construction to destruction and the aftermath - were also on display. New work made especially for the exhibition were created both in response to the Happidrome bunker itself, the C/S/B project but also as a way of circumventing health and safety issues. The works that came to be known as ‘Barriers 1/2/3/4’ were built out of furze cut from the immediate surroundings of the bunker to improve access to the site. The same material was then re-used inside the bunker to make access possible in all areas by creating impenetrable barriers to cover over pits in the bunker floor space. This allowed the whole building environment to be incorporated and explored by both myself and the audience to the exhibition. The importance of the archive material and its inclusion and expansion in this presentation was, in part, an attempt to highlight the relevance of unseen research activity generated as a consequence of the visual work itself. The use of internet blogs/film/photography/found objects/artefacts from the burn to chart the development of the work became an increasingly important tool. Not just as a record and how they in turn became additional works in their own right. About CUT/STACK/BURN The CUT/STACK/BURN project was a durational, performative re-enactment of a redundant rural activity - furze cutting for fuel. This cutting and gathering process made use of and became part of an existing cycle of heath land management being operated at two different heaths on the Lizard and West Penwith. The objective of the project was to use this activity as a platform to develop a visual conversation about the absence of sustainable management of the landscape and its resources in an age of climate change. The harvest from this intensive activity was laboriously cut and bound into faggots from December to mid February and finally transported to site where it was incorporated into a large sculptural installation. This final form, an energy store - a contemporary ‘old time’ rick, referenced the architecture of modern industrial fuel storage and was built on the hillside overlooking Mounts Bay at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens in February/March 2007. Our present and seemingly insatiable thirst for energy in an age of climate change became a focal point and pivotal issue in this visual enquiry. Our collective estrangement from the need and means to create our own energy and the first hand knowledge of how difficult, mundane and time consuming that can be, would seem to have gone some way in shaping the current frivolous relationship with energy. The flicking of switches, the pressing of buttons - power on demand – this concept defined the final act of management of the project. It became in turn a symbolic flippant gesture that seemed to emulate our use of energy today. The work was spectacularly destroyed at a public event on the eve of British summer time using fire, an age old technique of heath land management. Bruce Davies, 2011 About Happidrome HAPPIDROME is an experimental artist-led project platform, located at a disused WW2 radar base on Goonhilly Downs, Cornwall, UK. Since 2007, artists Sara Bowler and Elizabeth Masterton have been working with the support of the land manager, Natural England, to devise and present new work by invited artists in the 50+ extant radar buildings (some of which are intact, others open to the elements), on the Downs and online. Inspired by the technological pioneering of previous inhabitants, HAPPIDROME is a space for free roaming artistic inquiry; a place for artists, curators, scientists, engineers and writers to work together, to experiment, take risks, succeed and fail. It’s a field laboratory for experiments in light and magic, stealth and shadow, noise and silence, infrared and ultraviolet, channelling the pioneering spirit of WW2 radar science and the stratospheric ambitions of the satellite era. www.happidrome.wordpress.com © 2011 Bruce Davies. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.
ANIMORPHS : A collection of furze sticks used by children during harvesting
The ANIMORPH protects the nest from invaders
Background: BARRIER 2
Background: BARRIER 1
Detail : BARRIER 1
Foreground: BARRIER 3
NEW ARCHIVE AQUISITIONS
AFTERMATH - PHOTO RECORD OF C/S/B: HOWARD LEE
Display : ARTEFACTS / BLOG
AFTER THE BURN : CIRCULAR FOX STOOL FOUND IN THE ASH CIRCLE
AFTER THE BURN :SHOT GUN CARTRIDGES FOUND IN THE ASH CIRCLE
ARCHIVE PHOTOGRAPHS OF C/S/B
POOR MAN’S CHRISTMAS TREE : THIS WORK REFERENCES THE ‘POOR MAN’S HOLLY MADE AT THE START OF THE C/S/B PROJECT (SEE BLOG). FURZE WAS USED AS A SUBSTITUTE WHEN HOLLY WASN’T AVAILABLE OR AFFORDABLE. HERE A CHRISTMAS TREE HAS BEEN MADE FROM GORSE COLLECTED FROM AROUND THE HAPPIDROME SITE. THE LIGHTS ARE RUN ON ELECTRICITY GENERATED BY BICYLE.
SUPPORT : CHARRED STRUCTURAL REMAINS FROM THE THE BURN
REMANT : COLLECTED ‘STOGGS’ (BURNT STICKS PICKED UP AFTER A HEATH FIRE) FROM THE C/S/B AFTERMATH
FILM 1 : FROM THE VIDEO BLOG ARCHIVE / DURATION 120 MINS
FILM 2: VIDEO DOCUMENTS OF THE C/S/B BURN EVENT / EARLY ANIMATION DRAWINGS / ‘WHAT HAPPENED WHEN AN ARTIST CAME TO OUR FARM’ - A FILM DOCUMENTING THE PROJECT MADE BY CHILDREN. DURATION: 45 MINS
Thanks to: Sara Bowler, Happidrome Arts Council England The National Trust, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Natural England, HEATH project and the many individuals, families and friends who have made this possible. Bruce Davies October 2007.
Bruce Davies has an established and dynamic practice that has become notable for the extensive platforms he has created for the presentation of his work and formulation of his ideas. His interests in exploring practical applications for contemporary art, visual enquiry and research are prominent in his site specific explorations of contemporary land use. Recognition of the contexts of place play a fundamental part in the success of these often ambitious land based and urban projects that have been staged both across the UK and internationally. He is based in West Cornwall, UK.
HAPPIDROME 2: A SITE SPECIFIC PRESENTATION OF THE CUT/STACK/BURN PROJECT ARCHIVE