HOLE(W)HOLE. 2017

This work is the by-product of a 5-part performance art piece. The first part, titled hole, comprised of an 8 hour durational piece, whereby I dug myself into a hole, with a bronze casting of my left hand, welded onto the end of a spade handle. I called this object the digging stick.

A microphone hung above the hole to amplify the sound of the digging stick impacting the earth. A sound piece accompanied the atmosphere. A high quality recording of a singing bowl filled with water looped in the background for the 8-hour duration.

The second part entailed filling the hole with a body of water. This symbolic cleansing ritual allowed the water to become the performer. It took two days for the water to seep back into the earth.

Thirdly, the hole was transformed into a fire pit. These ‘elemental’ performances became part of the groundwork to prep the surface of the hole for the fourth performance piece.

The (w)hole performance.  8 wheelbarrow loads of cement and river sand were mixed and poured into the hole.

The final performance, a position of mechanical advantage, entailed rigging a pulley system to the cured cement sculpture, with a mechanical advantage ratio of 25:1. This system enabled me to haul out the cast structure on my own. 

[Rigging system installed by Tim Slab]

The tangible work, hanging in the poplar forest, is seen as a durational, living performance piece in constant dialogue with its surroundings, the elements and the people it encounters at different times in this specific space.

BIOGRAPHY OF A HOLE DIGGER
BY LUCY JANE TURPIN