DEVOLUTION EVOLUTION

A research commission by Tangled Feet. 

Devolution Evolution was a commission established during lockdown by Tangled Feet Theatre Company. It offered a group of freelance creatives some time to think, research, question, play and try stuff.

I stewed in various places and did some digging into process, went through various creative and existential crisis and began nibbling away at some ideas. Below are the beginnings of these ideas and some meandering thoughts.

A big unsettling revelation I had during this process was that I didn't have to make anything and I've been curious about where I have been drawn without that usual 'product' pressure. I've been encouraged to share my work - the process, the thoughts, the questions, the blah blah blahs and so that's what this page is.

I am beginning to develop an idea around women and the sea. I'm not quite sure what this will be or what form it will take. I have been looking at the iconography of women and the sea in films, photography and literature; the sea often being a representation of liberation, escape, change, awakening, female sexuality, emotional turmoil, life and death. The image or scene of a women looking at, walking into, diving into the waves, often fully clothed, is something that is repeated over and over; a visceral, dramatic, romantic, dangerous and subversive act - it defies expectation and has potentially huge consequences. 

Images sourced from stills of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, I Will Destroy You, Unorthodox, Roma, Big Little Lies and unknown photos. Words are mine. Videos edited badly by me.

The breaking point, moment of change, decision to change, to walk away, to jump in.

 

A necessity to break the thing in order to rebuild it differently. The act of jumping in breaks it, and once you've jumped there is no going back, there will be consequences. It may be put back together but it will be different, it will have changed.

Natural cycles and story cycles - things are, things are broken, things are rebuilt. What happens if they are broken too far? Can they be rebuilt? Entropy, or lack of. Global warning, this pandemic.

 

 

In order for things to really change, we need to destroy what was. This is scary, too scary maybe, and perhaps it is easier just to stay with what we know.  

I was encouraged to break something and rebuild it. The idea was to break something manmade and then to break something natural. I haven't broken the natural thing yet. This is me being a bit punk.  

Filmed and edited by me.

I spent some time with the photography of Salgado. I was drawn to it. His stuff is epic, beautiful, human and often about nature. He has documented the pain and suffering in the world – the resilience of humans as well as our potential to be evil to one another. With his series Genesis he documented the beauty and grandeur of wildlife – as a positive way of drawing awareness to our destruction of the planet.

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All images Salgado

I've been curious about the things that I was drawn to during this process and the commonalities between them and am consciously trying not to end-point or contextualise too soon. I don't know how all this stuff comes together, or if it even does, but I am interested in spotting that all this stuff, and the stuff I am writing, share common themes of subversion, human resilience and rebellion, nature and destruction.

I am continuing to explore these ideas - I don't know what form they will emerge as and that is unsettling but also kind of cool. I might do something with film or sound or maybe I'll do nothing and just be curious about this journey I've been on. I doubt that, as ultimately I will create something and hope that that something will be experienced by others.  

© 2018 by SARAH CALVER