Background

 

Geologies is a contemporary performance with dancer, string quartet and print-based light installation.

 

The work explores the body as an inherited geology, a narrative paralleling deep time recalled through ideas of lineage and themes of ‘river’. Caught between movement and arrest, the dancer’s responses and live musicians' gestures are set within a print-based light installation.  

Geologies  premiered at the Theatre Royal (9-10 October 2016) as an overture to the Unconformity Festival in Queenstown (14-16 October 2016).

 

Dance Artist – Wendy Morrow

 

Composer and Visual ArtistLeigh Hobba

 

Musicians – Thibaud Pavlovic Hobba leading the Southernwood String Quartet

 

Geologies was assisted by the Australian government through the Ministry for the Arts' Catalyst—Australian Arts and Culture Fund, the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and the Unconformity Festival.

 

Key Artists

 

Wendy Morrow

Wendy is an established dance artist, performance maker and collaborator. She graduated from the Australian Ballet School in 1974, was a dancer with the Monte Carlo Ballet, The Scottish Ballet, the Sydney Dance Company and an original member of Danceworks (Melbourne). Wendy has worked with Australia's most influential new dance makers. She has studied, taught and performed internationally and has extensive experience teaching professional companies, independent artists and most tertiary arts institutions around Australia. Wendy has tertiary qualifications in both Dance and Visual Arts; received numerous state and federal grants and is a recipient of an Australia Council Dance Board Fellowship. 

 

Leigh Hobba

Leigh is highly regarded as a practitioner of performance and new media art. As an artist and musician he has performed, curated and exhibited extensively within Australia and overseas since 1976. He has maintained a national and international reputation with an exhibition based practice incorporating installation, performance art, music, sound, temporal media, writing, curating and teaching. In 1980 he was selected as Australia's representative at the prestigious Biennale of Paris, Museum of Modern Art. and since then Hobba’s work has been shown at most major Australian galleries, including twice at the Biennale of Sydney and the major bi-annual survey of contemporary practice, Australian Perspecta. In 2007 Leigh had a 20-year media based survey show, Sense of Presence at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, representing 20 years of audio/visual installation and performance work relating to the Tasmanian physical and psychic landscape.

 

Thibaud Pavlovic – Hobba

Thibaud began study at the Conservatorium of Tasmania in 2007 furthering his studies at Australian National Academy of Music leading the winning String Quartet in the 2011 ANAM Chamber Music Competition. Thibaud also works casually with many orchestras around Australia and in 2015 was accepted into the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellowship program. He was an ACO emerging artist for 2 years, playing with the ACO2 and has been a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra since 2016,touring nationally and internationally.

 

Background

 

For over two decades Morrow and Hobba have created numerous collaborative works together with projects involving combinations of video, mixed visual media, sound, music and text with dance informed movement.

 

Their collaborations are sited on the boundary of performance and installation, where performance becomes a gesture or component within a visual installation.

 

Formal, process orientated and abstract, the work maintains a simplicity of presentation with elements referencing each other whilst remaining distinct. The accumulation of ideas and modes of presentation create work that sits comfortably within the field of interdisciplinary art.

 

As established artists their work individually and collectively has made a sustained contribution to the development of Australian dance, sound and new media practices since the mid-seventies.

 

Through 2015, Wendy collaborated with Leigh, dancer Trevor Patrick and visual artist, Raymond Arnold, to share and progress ideas towards a trans-disciplinary performance work.

 

Over 12 months, locations of geological interest were explored and responded to in Tasmania, Victoria and in residence at Bundanon NSW.

 

Inspired by rivers and karst systems, ideas and material was developed and shared, expeditions undertaken with a diverse group of artists, geologists and field researchers.

This investigation resulted in Leigh's outputs of video, sound composition, movement and a series of prints.

 

A central theme within this material emerged as the idea of ‘river’, extracted from Leigh's on-going work, A Room full of Rivers.

 

In 2016, the musical score for the string quartet was developed. Rivers of text became a series of woodblock prints, reconfigured into light with the musicians and dancer’s gestures acting as both performance and installation within the Theatre Royal, Hobart and the Masonic Hall in Queenstown.

 

Additional background

 

“Arriving in the night, she considered ten words that had formed through the journey to this place, the one she is in now carried from that she had left”.

 

Wendy Morrow comes from a family of dancers. She has an uninterrupted connection to music and dance in her family, tracing back to the 16th century. Around 1855, her great, great, grandfather, M. Camille Delsarte, arrived in Hobart from Paris. Arriving to teach music, he established a successful trade and in 1860 built on the corner of Davey and Harrington Street, (now Dobson, Mitchell, Allport Lawyers) what was claimed to be ‘the finest concert hall in any of the colonies’. Delsarte’s brother, Francois Delsarte (1811-1871), was renowned for his development of a theory of movement in Paris that is cited to have led an overhaul of the dance world and the beginnings of modern dance. As an improviser working with responsive, discreet and small movement, Wendy feels a close affinity with Francois’s theory and interest in ‘every little movement’.