Swampy: Spaceship Earth
Swampy: SpaceShip Earth
By Tom Estes
Living Roof Launch & Green Walk
Beaconsfield/ Open House London
Following on from the Live Art Performance- at The Giardini at The 2011 Venice Biennale, Artist Tom Estes re-staged the work 'Swampy' alongnside the launch of Living Roof and the Beaconsfield Gallery participation in Open House London. This is a substantially revised second edition of the origonal performance by Estes and employs fantasy elements in the creation of installation along with performance. Beaconsfield participates in the Open House London Weekend (17 & 18 September 2011) for the 15th year running. Open House London: an initiative by Open City http://www.openhouselondon.org.uk/ The Living Roof was initiated through Dafna Talmor’s project-in-residence. SpaceShip Earth: one of Beaconsfield’s TestBed 1 commissions, Summer 2010. TestBed 1 was produced as part of Beaconsfield’s curatorial mentoring scheme for emerging artist-curators.
Through the work 'Swampy' Estes attempts to perform a delicate balancing act of two ways of thinking; of the dualism of nature as a force of renewal and as a destructive force; of the environment as intrinsically valuable (valuable in itself, irrespective of human interests) and as instrumentally valuable (valuable in order to achieve particular goals); of nature as 'feminine' and nurturing or as a 'masculine' potent symbol of fertility. The first kind of value is frequently describes using religious language (e.g. "nature as sacred". The second is characterizes in narrow economic terms (e.g. "an object of economic exploitation". It is clear that these two kinds of values can come apart. For example, a piece of nature might be thought to be intrinsically valuable without having any value for humans. As the argument goes, society should aim to balance these two ways of valuing nature, without reducing one to the other.
The launch party for Beaconsfield's Open House London was hosted by SpaceShip Earth artists and as an official launch party to celebrate public access to the living roof. Masterminded by Mark Pavey, Michael Shaw and Dafna Talmor, the sustainable, living roof at Beaconsfield has been more than a year in the making, built by volunteers, working under strict principles, only from donated and salvaged materials. With food, music, film screenings, a raffle and a plant-cuttings swap (drop-off a plant cutting or some fruit/veg from gardens ) all took place on Sunday 18 September 2-8pm. Artist were also invited to wear their favourite garden party attire or come as their favourite flower or plant.
Local guerrilla gardener and artist Caroline Todd led a green walk from Tate Britain to Beaconsfield’s own patch of green to celebrate public access to the living roof.The walk started at Cultivate Tate: Team Gardening’s herb garden, and included a visit to guerrilla gardens and Lambeth's Arden House's community-built Biodiverse Roof.
Beaconsfield participates in the Open House London Weekend (17 & 18 September 2011) for the 15th year running.
Open House London: an initiative by Open City http://www.openhouselondon.org.uk/