Glasgow International: Bianca Hester …of stones, sticks and hoops … and chilly climbs
We were slightly worried about the Glasgow weather again on our blustery walk to the Cambridge Street car park, located a little distance down the hill from the Glasgow School of Art…Certainly some of us were better dressed for the outdoors than others (Note to self remember Northface jacket). But although chilly, the wind kept at bay for most of Bianca’s action, the finale of her week long series using found and made objects and located around various sites in Glasgow: only from the perspective of an observer situated upon the surface of the earth does day and night occur.
See her record of it at http://uponthesurfaceoftheearth.blogspot.com.au.
Some of Bianca’s actions were process based in nature (collecting sticks and redistributing them in piles), while others involved a direct invitation (for all the occupants in one street to open all their doors and windows for an hour on a designated day). For this final action Bianca drew on students from the art school and other people she met along over the week, to come together for an improvised action with steel hoops and rods.
They (we) rendezvoused at The Common Guild and then proceeded in a festive fashion to roll the metre in diameter, and reasonably heavy, blue steel hoops down the winding streets to the nearby multi storey car park. This classic brutalist structure was a perfect setting for temporary repurposing. With its painted red, yellow and blue sections denoting parking spots and driving lanes you could almost think that it had been prepared as a sports court or oversized game board.
At first, the participants tentatively began to spin the hoops in the centre of the expansive space but within minutes, and as if in unspoken agreement, the group started to become more confident with the implements and their potential to create both visual patterns and aural effects. Gathering momentum the percussion of whirling, chiming metal rang out across the rooftops of Glasgow – like a calling to the city. With the participants increasing experimentation with ways to use the circling hoops and rods, not only did their actions become more strenuous and intense, but it appeared as if people were being drawn out of the various stairwells to come see what was going on.
At the same time an increasingly large group of seagulls circled and called above. The action ended much as it had begun, with gradual decrease in the activity of the group and separating out into individual actions. We dispersed to find cover and warmth, nonetheless invigorated by the opportunity to tune in to the surfaces, surrounding atmosphere and rhythm of the city.