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RED EARTH

   
red earth geograph
GEOGRAPH 2005

www.redearth.co.uk
contact@redearth.co.uk
t : 01273 - 232 416
Brighton
England

  Performance . Ritual . Alchemy

RED EARTH is an artist-led environmental arts group creating experimental outdoor site-specific installations and performances in the landscape.

Editors' note: See also the piece on RED EARTH in Total Art Journal.

Artistic Director/s    Caitlin Easterby and Simon Pascoe

Vision  
RED EARTH projects are physical speculations on the power and energy of elemental processes, investigations into matter and the phenomena of the natural world; identifying the connections between art, philosophy, history, science and nature.
They are often experiments in ritualised space, combining sculpture installation with performed activation and involving a combination of sound, video, light; fire, water, earth and pyrotechnics.

RED EARTH projects are cross-cultural, cross-artform interdisciplinary collaborations between artists and non-arts professionals: land managers, architects, farmers, archaeologists, historians, geologists, ecologists, astronomers, animals and communities.
They are concerned with process, experimentation and exploration, often entailing extended periods of research and development.

RED EARTH has since 1989 presented work in Britain, Japan, Java, Mongolia and Europe in collaboration with artists from those countries: international interface redrawing cultural boundaries through interaction between diverging practices.

Projects have included:

    Live performance/installation activation
    Site-specific sculpture installations
    Public art/environmental sculpture commissions
    Workshop residencies
    Participatory arts
    Collaborations with non-arts professionals
    Outreach

 
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Productions and Projects

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NORTHALA
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2012
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Red Earth are building a series of temporary greenwood towers on the hills of Northala Fields, brought to life in an atmospheric event marking the arrival of the Paralympic Flame in Ealing.

Although recently constructed from the debris of the old Wembley stadium, Northala Fields evokes a landscape of prehistoric earthworks. NORTHALA responds to this connection between contemporary and ancient, bridging the passage of time between prehistory and the industrial present.

For the performance on 24 August 2012, the hills of Northala Fields are transformed by sound and fire into a ritual landscape, marking the journey of the Paralympic Flame upwards towards the heavens. NORTHALA evokes the past and celebrates the future, as Northala Fields becomes, briefly, the centre of the world.

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NORTHALA
NORTHALA

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CHALK
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2011
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Installation, performance, and experiential walks on the South Downs

Between April and October 2011 RED EARTH explored the archaeology and ecology of the South Downs creating site-specific installations, performance journeys and experiential walks across two stunning landscapes: Harting Down (Chichester) and Wolstonbury Hill (Brighton).

How do we really get to know a place? We can drive to it; take a bus, walk, cycle, ride or run. But how would it feel to travel through layers of geological and archaeological time, to feel and taste the ecology of the land, uncover its hidden worlds through sound and performance? What would it feel like to be truly immersed in the landscape?

RED EARTH invited people to become collaborators with the land: walking it, navigating it, building, singing and performing it, leading to new encounters with the natural world and the forces that shape it.

photo: Paul Winter

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CHALK
CHALK

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Long Shore Drift
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2007
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Long Shore Drift draws together past, present and future landscapes to illuminate the natural forces at work along the Suffolk coast, highlighting the rapid environmental transformation predicted in the next fifty years.

Long Shore Drift is a response to the immediate and historical issue of land loss through geological transition and sea flooding, and the potential for the ecological restoration of an endangered habitat.

Working in partnership with The National Trust, Red Earth will create a cycle of site-specific installations, performance events and specialist walks interpreting the environmental changes taking place at Dunwich.

The public were invited to explore the ecology, archaeology, geology and future of the Suffolk coast through direct creative participation: greenwood installation across the heathland (April - Sept) and live performance at the water’s edge (last weekends in July and September).

Long Shore Drift is part of a body of work exploring coastal transformation and the effects of climate change, including Geograph (2005).

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LONG SHORE DRIFT
Long Shore Drift

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ENCLOSURE
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2007
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On 23 September, the Autumn Equinox, RED EARTH will create ENCLOSURE, a journey across Hambledon Hill, the chalk massif rising above the Dorset landscape. The performance will involve installation, sound, fire and ritual.

Beneath the well-preserved Iron Age earthworks lie the vast remains of the largest neolithic enclosure in Europe, established over five thousand years ago. ENCLOSURE will open a corridor between our ancestors and ourselves, reawakening Hambledon Hill as a space for meeting, celebration and ritual.

Created in collaboration with local musicians, performers and volunteers working with artists including Japanese butoh performer Atsushi Takenouchi, ENCLOSURE is informed by recent archaeological insights into neolithic ceremony and ritual and by the excavations of Hambledon Hill by R. J. Mercer.

Image above is of the audience following Atsushi Takenouchi towards the 'field of stars.' photo: Roy Riley

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red earth enclosure ATSUSHI
ENCLOSURE

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BOUNDARY
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2007
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Jeskyns is the name of a new landscape being created by the Forestry Commission on the edge of Cobham village, Kent.

Red Earth worked with students from Meopham and Thamesview secondary schools to create a performance event, BOUNDARY celebrating the new landscape and the beginning of a new relationship between local communities and the wildlife that will be encouraged to return to the land. The event unveiled a new sculpture installation by Walter Bailey.

A ceremonial procession created and performed by artists and students across open land involved music, performance and the burying of two time capsules containing artifacts symbolic of students’ lives in the 21st century.

BOUNDARY marked and amplified the future promise Jeskyns holds for local people, instilling in those involved a sense of ownership, responsibility and respect for their landscape.

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GEOGRAPH: Trace, Vanishing Point
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2005
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GEOGRAPH was a 6-month site-specific project exploring the nature of Birling Gap.

red earth trace
GEOGRAPH: Trace

GEOGRAPH symbolised the geological tension between earth and sea, and the geological erosion of the chalk cliffs of the South Downs.

TRACE

In May, over fifty participants created a 200 metre long erosion line of stone and other beach materials. Painter Sax Impey drew a series of chalk and water screens with images taken from microscopic images of the flint and chalk geology. Participants were led on a ritual chalk water offering to the low tide, blowing conch shells and ringing bells.

Simultaneously, on the shoreline of Parangtritis beach in South-East Java, performance artist and dancer Parmin Ras was performing another water ritual, respectfully remembering the Asian Tsunami.

VANISHING POINT
At Bailey's Hill, Vanishing Point was the site-specific installation designed by Caitlin Easterby and Simon Pascoe. The sculpture was woven green sycamore in the shape of two interlocking curving waves, in-filled with wattle from hazel and willow. The materials echoed prehistoric building methods, and the sculpture was sited near to a burial ground.

red earth vanishing point
GEOGRAPH: Vanishing Point
For the closing ceremony in late September, Parmin Ras travelled to Birling Gap, and with Easterby and Pascoe, Impey, musician Ansuman Biswas and performer David Statham performed a purification ritual at the VANISHING POINT installation.

The audience was invited to walk through the sculpture, as a gateway between the visible and invisible, and down through the valley with a series of white flags marking the future erosion of the chalk cliffs. At Birling Gap beach, the water line was lit with fire before the closing water ceremony.

Rory Mortimore, Professor of Geology from the University of Brighton, advised on the area's geological formations.

GEOGRAPH and the work of RED EARTH is reviewed by Oliver Lowenstein on greenmuseum.org

Funders: Arts Council England, National Trust, Made in Brighton, Wealdon District Council

Photographs: Caitlin Easterby and Charlotte McPherson

red earth vanishing point 2
GEOGRAPH: Vanishing Point

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Messenger
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2004
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Messenger was a site-specific, improvised performance for the Roaring Hooves Festival in Mongolia by Simon Pascoe.

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RED EARTH's rituals
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2003 - 2004
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Monsoon Mela
Water-based installation/performance with Nitin Sahwney

The Return
High tide public event at De La Warr Pavilion

Buddhafield
Site-specific installation/activation, ritual, cross-arts collaboration

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Visit
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2003
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Visit was a site-specific, improvised performance for the Roaring Hooves Festival in Mongolia by Simon Pascoe.

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RED EARTH's rituals
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2001 - 2002
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Convergence
installation, performance/ritual
Brighton Festival
Funded by ZAP Productions, SEA

Vessel
a ship on water created from greenwood and bamboo activated by sound, fire and pyrotechnics commissioned by Birmingham City Council to end the Spirit Festival, Cannon Hill Park

Egg
improvised performance/ritual in collaboration with ceramicist Andy Glass
Funded by Bracknell Festival

Island
performance/ritual for Ancient Futures at Coed Hills Artspace, South Wales

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Hive & Aquifer
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2001
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Hive
Caitlin Easterby explored the ecology, archaeology and mythology of the bee, the beehive and the beekeeper.
Funded by SEA in partnership with Sussex Wildlife Trust and The Booth Museum

Aquifer
Simon Pascoe with Ansuman Biswas and Parmin Ras
walk/performance/installation from source to sea in celebration of water, funded by SEA in partnership with Sussex Downs Conservation Board, Foredown Tower

Hive and Aquifer were Year of the Artist productions.

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Breath
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2001
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Breath
installation/performance in collaboration with Japanese performers for the 2001 Canterbury Festival, funded by the Canterbury Festival, South East Arts, Arts Council of England, Japan 2001, The Daiwa and Sasakawa Foundations and All Nippon Airlines

Breath R&D Japan
research towards breath including two improvised performances in Japan, on a frozen lake and in a Buddhist temple, funded by SEA

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Shrine, Outcrop & Channel
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2000
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Shrine
site-specific installation/ritual activation for the BETWEEN NATURE conference, Lancaster University and the Pestalozzi Festival.
Funded by Lancaster University and Rother District Council

Outcrop
1-month site-specific sculpture installation marking the South Downs
Funded by SEA

Channel
installation, performance/ritual on water
Basingstoke
Funded by Basingstoke Borough Council

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Transmutation, Beacon, Flux & Dark Matter
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1998 - 2001
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Transmutation 1998
2 site-specific installations [gateways] commissioned by Les Platiqueurs for Viva Cite Festival, Sotteville, France, funded by Viva Cite, Interreg


Beacon 1999
12m fire tower activation. Canteleu, France, funded by Canteleu Town Council

Dark Matter 1999
installation performance [visual/sound/video/performance]. Brighton and Viva Cite Festivals, funded by SEA, Viva Cite, Interreg, Visiting Arts

Flux 2001
installation/performance - European co-commission, funded by Zap, UZ, Viva Cite, Amiens

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Alum Halus & Water Crossing
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1998
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Alum Halus
site-specific journey - a combination of British and Javanese mythology with Javanese artists Parmin Ras and Toro. Funded by Hawth Theatre, SEA
Alam Halus research and development, Java
performance collaboration with Parmin Ras, including Tannah Tander. Surabaya Art College, Java, funded by SEA

Water Crossing
water-based installation ritual with Padepokan Lemah Putih [Java]. Brighton Festival. ASEM '98 cultural programme, funded by SEA, ACE, Visiting Arts, Lighthouse

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RED EARTH's rituals
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1996 - 1997
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The Field 1996
research and development project investigating a time-based land art project in collaboration with Arc [Birmingham] and Common Ground, funded by ACE New Collaborations Scheme

Water Mark 1997
celebrating the redevelopment of the Winterbourne River in Lewes, funded by RORE

Meeting Ground 1997
time-based installation on Brighton Beach, funded by RORE, SEA

Fire Sounding 1997
ritual/performance collaboration with Suprapto Suryodamo, funded by Sharing Time

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More About  
Other works
2007
KEEP
red earth keep
KEEP
An installation at Hadleigh Castle above the Thames Estuary southwest of Southend, KEEP took the form of a fragile tower. The twisting form of green wood reflected the transitory destiny of Hadleigh Castle, a mediaeval structure collapsing under the forces of erosion and the unstable geology of the landscape.
KEEP was a commission by the Greenwich and Docklands Festival.

2005
HOME
Site-specific installation and residency at Woodsmill Nature Reserve, Sussex
Jalan (Journey)
Site-specific installation/performance: activation of Trafalgar Square, London
with Javanese performer Parmin Ras
CIRCLE
Site-specific activation in Bath city centre

  RED EARTH
www.redearth.co.uk
contact@redearth.co.uk
t: 01273 - 232 416

9 Exeter Street
Brighton
BN1 5PG
England

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