Sanded Steps, Standing Over Stones (2017)

Live art event, sand, brooms, paper.

Images from the live art event and exhibition Embodied Cartographies, curated by Fay Stevens; performers are Lydia Halcrow, Doug Clark, Jessica Shephard. Photographs by Ryan Wynn.


Four people stand apart and over an area of sand spread throughout Kingsmead Square. In plain view, they gently sweep the sand - But who notices? Are the four ‘occupying' the public square? Or holding a spot, a symbolically private island? The questions are open. The work goes as it appears: Throughout the afternoon each of these four people step from one end of the sand to another. Each slowly sweeps away footprints left from the other. Sometimes one person stops walking. Another walks over, moving them on. 'Move on' another suddenly cries, 'nothing to see!' Another cries 'Under the stones is the beach!' These and other statements are abruptly said, echoing public demonstrations from 1968 to present day. Either way the work goes on, sweeping, stepping, stopping, then walking or pacing again, and so forth… until all the sand is swept across the stones. The collective action becomes traceless. Metaphors of change, work, and everyday life are symbolically cleared. The public square is swept.

–  Description of the work for Embodied Cartographies, May 2017 –