HOME HEART LAND
04/10/2012 - 05/10/2012
Home heart land combines the visual artistry of live projections with dancers, poets and fools to spin a web of heart rending musicality and atmospheric simple truths.
Showcasing a series of short performances to tell the story of a relationship with our land, our hearts and the greater environment. This collaboration promises to be a visual and aural feast.
Thurs 4th and Friday 5th October, 7:30pm
Review by Brenda Rae Kidd 05th Oct 2012
Home Heart Land is a collaborative effort. A truly democratic process is apparent – the artist’s work as a team. The result is charming, thought provoking, homely and comforting – yet confronting.
Poetry by Stephanie Christie and Kanekanikanikane Te Manukura reveals a discontentment often felt but left unspoken by those less clever. Alienation, disenfranchisement, cultural cannibalism and such are exposed; unrequited love gets a serve too. Both poets stand in their own right and are fearless in delivery.
Throughout, a candle is kept alight and passed from performer to performer, creating a feeling of movement whilst keeping props to a minimum. A pile of boxes is at the rear of the stage. What appears to be a tower of cardboard transforms into a screen for the projection of images.
Paul Bradley is the VJ behind these images. He is also the inventor/ creator of what can be describes as a grownup version of the Magic Doodle. Paul draws over a light box and the images appear over the visuals already on screen. It is very cool and I think he is on to something there.
Songstress, Karin Betley, she of the sexy sinuous voice, is dynamic onstage. A highlight is the baking scene. With tea towel slung over shoulder (just like mum), Karin serenades her way through a batch of Anzac Cookies. Or are they aaAANZaaaCCC Cookies as Karin does sing. Whichever, the Anzac Cookie has never been so alluring.
The audience is offered a cookie as we settle in to the night like we’re in an old mates lounge. Felix (just Felix) appears on stage like a man blown in from a storm. Dressed in raincoat and mackintoshes he creates a sonic storm of his own.
Haunting vocals by Karin and visuals of darkening cloud by Paul induce the brooding ambient soundscape. We are all battened down safe here in our lounge.
Felix is also the inventor/ creator of his sound ensemble, and on realising the innovation apparent; the audience is seduced by sheer wizardry.
To combine the spoken with the aural with the visual is not as easy as this collaboration make it appear. There were a few hiccups with timing but – hey – I prefer my art freeform anyhow. We all know she’s one long hard road to perfection.
Although quintessentially stories of Aotearoa, I can see Home Heart Land resonating on an international level. It explores issues around land, people and connection – or the dysfunction that comes from disconnection.
“People are lost but land stands forever.” Home Heart Land is a taonga.
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