celtae:lloer newydd



-an installation performance work involving the elements of

Fire, Air, Earth and Water

Tan, Awyr, Daer y Dwr

March 22nd

The early Celts paid great heed to the elements, as well as the positions of the sun and moon.

Feeling that our society was slipping from those observations I chose to honor the setting of the sun, the sighting of the New Moon and to employ the costume design class of the Theatre Department of the University of Tulsa to portray the elements.

Considering that the art of the early Celt was integrated into his society’s everyday existence to the point that almost every person participated in the art, willingly or un-knowingly. The art of our present day society is estranged and a part from our daily routine, to the purpose that we must have critics to tell us what is good, bad or important to us.

Armed with this notion, I devised this work to celebrate the elements on the New Moon.

The beautifully costumed theatre people did not know what they were supposed to do until their arrival at the site. They had been told what element they were to be and what props to bring, but they knew not what was in-store for them. All of their instructions were pre-recorded on cassettes and given to them upon their arrival.

Five people were invited to participate as “Overseers”. Two were dressed in white and were to sound “horns” (square tubing two megalithic yards long) and three people were dressed in green to read from the words of the art critics of the like of Clemet Greenburg and Rosenthal,

The procession began at 5:59pm. The Elements moved to the lower level, below the Overseers and prepared their respective sites. (Large poles were in the ground where they were to attach ropes, set out their props and wait until they were signaled to turn on their tape players)

At 6:41, sundown, a mighty blast of the horns, a flash of ignited black powder, releasing a tethered balloon to the sky signaled the Elements to begin their silent dance. The Overseers in green lighted a fire and began to read the critics words and methodically tear them to shreds and place them into the fire.

As the taped instructions and music ran out the Overseers observed the crescent of the new moon as it was revealed b