Eleanor Clare & Dillan Marsh: The Travels of The Toucher
With cardboard boxes over their heads, and two holes punched out for their arms, they began with wet clay, and without any other idea than to see what came by handling it. What they arrived at was not a sculpture, but a way to begin. The forms were destroyed and remodelled – the possibility to reform them was always there. It was a way to get to the thing.
On a wet and windy day, they journeyed out to Tigh na Cailleach, home of the Old Woman of the Glen, just before she withdrew into her shelter for the winter. They were not sure what they might find, or what to do when they got there. They were walking a path that had been walked for thousands of years. They were looking for the very beginnings of meaning and making: to connect thousands of years ago with today. They wanted to find it, but when they found it, they didn’t know what to do next. Not there at the shrine, nor in the studio with the clay.
About Time is a satellite programme of contemporary art running from October 2015 – January 2016. It is curated by a consortium of Leeds-based artists and curators led by Mexico, Pavilion and SPUR with contributions from Assembly House Leeds, Basement Arts, Black Dogs, Leeds Animation Workshop, Left Bank, Pyramid of Arts, Seize, Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun and many others. Coinciding with the launch of the British Art Show 8, this city-wide initiative features commissioned artworks, texts and events which aim to highlight the work of artists, cultural producers and curatorial projects based in Leeds, alongside their international peers. The programme takes place across a diverse set of venues including artist-led spaces, museums and heritage buildings.
As he rides his chariot, he shines upon men and deathless gods, and piercingly he gazes
with his eyes from his golden helmet. Bright rays beam dazzlingly from him, and his
bright locks streaming from the temples of his head gracefully enclose his far-seen face: a rich,
fine-spun garment glows upon his body and flutters in the wind: and stallions carry him.
Then, when he has stayed his golden-yoked chariot and horses, he rests there upon the
highest point of heaven, until he marvellously drives them down again through heaven to Okeanos."
I lived to dance all night. A surging energy created a new and unprecedented confidence:
that it was possible to cheat time. I felt invincible - transcendent. Life was light, without fear
of death; at least not in this state of being. I sensed in my body vibrations of sound.
The closer I got to the source, the more it enveloped me, becoming a physical entwinement with
music and space. I felt one with it. But as the years passed, inevitably my heart began to
beat out of time. The breath did not come so easily. I held it at the top for a few seconds,
afraid to exhale. In these moments, the perceived syncopation that was once such a joy had
started to become a dissonance.
I feel alive, and the world - it's turning inside out Yeah!
I'm floating around in ecstasy
So don't stop me now,
I'm a shooting star leaping through the skies
Like a tiger, defying the laws of gravity
I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva
I'm gonna go! go! go!
There's no stopping me!
I'm a rocket ship on my way to Mars
On a collision course
I am a satellite, I'm out of control
I am a sex machine ready to reload
Like an atom bomb about to
Oh -oh-oh-oh-oh explode!
(Extracts from 'Don't Stop Me Now' lyrics by Freddie Mercury, 1978)