The Grasses are Singing (September 2003)
Showing: Art Farm Project: Rocombe Farm, Devon (5th-14th September 2003)
The Grasses are Singing was produced in response to a commission to create a site-specific installation in the old dairy at Rocombe Farm, Devon as part of The Art Farm Project 2003. The farm was a working dairy farm and ice-cream factory until the herd were moved elsewhere two years previously.
On first visiting the site, I was captivated by the quality of stillness and the way in which the gentle movement of the grasses around the farm highlighted this. I was also aware that if large quantities of visitors arrived the quality of stillness would be lost. I therefore planned to create a piece which would encapsulate the farm’s atmosphere of stillness so that it could be experienced by those visiting, despite the large numbers. In addition, the grasses acted as a cyper for the stillness before and then after the farm’s activity. The final installation also refers to stillness and movement through the projection of human body-sized grasses onto sheets of paper on which the visitors were encouraged to attempt to ‘capture’ of the movement of the grasses through drawing. These group outcomes were then hung up each day alongside the current ‘active’ drawing as comparison.
This piece was also an experiment in finding ways in which to involve a large audience of visitors directly in the process and outcomes of the piece, whilst requiring the minimum of artist or steward intervention.