Grounded Light was a promenade performance and installation event, staged along the thirty-minute work to a mountain summit and was commissioned by the Noosa Floating Land Festival. It featured a single performer (dancer/performer Lisa O’Neill) whose costume and parasol emanated white light (multiple LEDs) and sound. The work continued on the summit with a solar powered video installation integrated within the mountain’s lookout tower/shelter. This was accompanied by a live trombonist and hundreds of miniature white lights on flexible wire stalks quivering in the wind - set over the plateau and mountainsides. The backdrop was a dramatic 360 view of the Noosa Shire’s lights, set far below.-----
Set within the context of a re-envisioned post colonial politics, the work, commented upon contemporary theories of weight and groundedness, contrasting these to the sense of personal ‘separation’ from the landscape that many Australians have once, or maybe in many cases, still do experience. The work garnered strong audience and critical responses and has become a key case study for two published, scholarly papers developing the idea of a ‘Grounded Media” form.-----
The field involved developing and deepening understanding of dialogic modes and contexts of engagement between the public and non-gallery-based mediatised performance experiences. The context involved the contemporary practices of land and site-specific performance art in concert with the disciplines the Suzuki Actor Training Method and contemporary experimental Dance practices. Grounded Light drew upon the work of writer Paul Carter to examine the colonial roots of non-indigenous Australians’ enduring psychological discomfort with the Australian land through the practical invocation of Carter’s “environmentally grounded poetics”. The methodology was primarily practice-led.
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