Desert Crossings takes us on a journey of discovery, building bridges between two continents, tracing shared memories and the earth’s history, revealing timeless stories, universal hopes and dreams of a better world.
This cross-cultural performance is a collaboration between UK based producers, State of Emergency and South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma of Vuyani Dance Theatre, performed by a company of five dancers from different cultural backgrounds, with an original score by Steve Marshall.
“The choreography resonates with ancient traditions, belief systems and mythologies emanating from mosques, churches and ancient caves from the origins of mankind to Timbuktu, and beyond the Jurassic Coast… The memory of time is broken by individual outbursts and muscular vocabulary which turns human flesh into tumbleweeds or fossils of primordial memory, creating a journey across vast deserts, seas and mountains. Desert Crossings is a landscape where the physical and the metaphysical, the corporeal and the spiritual, the celestial and terrestrial all merge.” Gregory Maqoma
Inspired by the similarities between the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site on England’s south coast and the Skeleton Coast of Namibia, this new work is an exploration and reflection on two very different places, united through a shared history of the rocks on which they stand. Once a single continent with a desert environment called Pangaea, our world was gradually torn apart through 250 million years of history.
The Metal Forest
The film is part of a joint project with the artist Tabitha Salmon who has been making interventions in a deserted English wood for the last 10 years.
I started the documentation using still photography but soon decided the changing moods over the year could be echoed by a short cyclical film encompassing both the daily and annual cycle.
The wood is part of an ancient Iron Age fort and I hope the film contains a sense of Tabitha’s liaison alongside the darker elements of a mysterious past.