LIVEWORKS: Nemeton

GARTH KNIGHT

FREE PERFORMANCE PROGRAM

Wed 28 Ot, 5 – 10PM
Thurs 29 Oct, 5 – 10PM
Fri 30 Oct, 5 – 10PM
Sat 31 Oct, 10AM – 2PM + 7 – 10PM
Sun 1 Nov, 3 – 7PM

 

Nemetona were sacred spaces in ancient Celtic religion. Primarily situated in natural areas, and often utilising trees they are usually interpreted as sacred groves. As a meeting place consecrated by Druids the largest and oldest tree in the grove was chosen to become the centrepiece of their rituals. This tree represented the world.

In this space, Nemeton is a durational performative installation where ropes, rocks and human bodies form an allegorical tableau with a tree as the central motif. The entire work is a cyclical process performed over seven days, with a making during the day and a transformation during the evening.

By day the tree is built – rocks suspended in space and limbs surging upward, a neural network of threads of consciousness enveloping the space. This ritual of making becomes a focus for meditation, intuitively exploring the big questions: the cycles of life and death, the harmony of chaos and order, the interconnectedness of perception and the relationship between individual consciousness and physical reality.

Each evening a person is brought into this consecrated space to be ritually bound into the roots of the tree, in order to collect, absorb and transmit part of their ineffable life force, to be transformed and subsumed into the installation. During this process each of these people transform their pain and sensual experience into an offering: a devotional act, homage to the collective consciousness, a prayer for harmony between individuals and the earth as parts of the greater whole and the knowing that all is one. When the person is unbound their bodies are released, but the ropes used to bind them, imbued with this potency, are used as material to extend and enrich the tree in the following day’s making.

 

ABOUT GARTH KNIGHT

Garth Knight works with and photographs rope and bodies as sculptural forms, creating allegorical installations that combine Zen concepts and pagan mythology with the traditions of kinbaku bondage. His tableaux of intricate, decorative networks connect ideas of strength and pleasure with those of surrender and abandonment. His installations and performance focus on the ritual of making, becoming an act of meditation and a process leading to illumination. He also creates complex digital montages, combining thousands of image fragments to produce scintillating new forms moulded into imagined creatures. His works have been exhibited widely in Australia and internationally and he has self published several books. He lives and works in Sydney.

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