Still Life

Still Life

Sept 2008, Far Arnside, Morecambe Bay

Still Life was an intertidal performance specific to the sands of Morecambe Bay and the shoreline at Far Arnside, Lancashire, was also co-produced by Sap Dance and LAW Co, and was concerned with how we frame nature and what lies beyond the frame.

The performance took small groups of participants, who were led by a guide, from cliff-top to sandy-shore, over limestone rock and salt-marsh grass. Installations, made from objects discovered on site, provided trails for them to follow. These included fallen apples, pottery fragments, feathers, plastic bottles, flowers and blackberries. Along these trails, participants came across digital recordings, verbal descriptions, frames placed over natural and man-made objects, and photographs of objects no longer present (such as a dead gull and the sea at high tide). As they walked, a story unfolded concerning a woman from the past whom they witnessed out on the sands, and a weathered washed-up man from the present they beheld dancing on rocks. 

I have never seen a piece of work in such a setting before and the performance heightened my immediate perception of it.
Nigel [Stewart] dancing on the rocks [...] opened up the focus and eye line of the audience to take in the enormity of the space [...] The environment as a whole felt very charged.
Louise Ann [Wilson's] hanting stillness was quite ominous and powerful. It was as if she was part of the surroundings, a presence that is always there and always watching – much like nature itself.
Audience Responses, Far Arnside, 2008.


Created and performed by: Louise Ann Wilson and Nigel Stewart (Sap Dance).

Guide: Derek Tarr.

Produced by: Louise Ann Wilson Co & Sap Dance.

The project arose from the AHRC-funded project Re-enchantment & Reclamation, Landscape and Environment Programme. It was funded by: Lancaster institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) & the Faculty of Arts and Social Science (FASS), Lancaster University.