My Heart is a Beast is a series of performances evoking the enigmatic presence of the wild spirit of humanity into the controlled landscape of the city. Presented in three parts – The Flock – Shadows – Trophy Wall, each performance shifts scale and media as the half-human half-beast creatures transform from naïve city dwellers back to their pagan roots.

My Heart is a Beast premiered in Auckland, New Zealand, May 2008. It was commissioned by Auckland City Council, Living Room Public Art Series.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Auckland season - video segments




Thanks to participating businesses who helped in the Auckland Season:
New Zealand Film Archive, Gubb & Mackie, YMCA Tepid Baths, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Hotel Mercure, Auckland City Library, Auckland City Community Halls, Andrew Beattie, Aotea Centre, Westfield Downtown, Bluewater (Cooper & Coopers)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pictures from Auckland Season

The Flock - out and about in Auckland City


The Trophy Wall

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Project description

The Flock
A group of people with antler head-dress appear in procession, they move ‘out of time’ from the city, slowly and unconsciously grazing public spaces. They wheel tarpaulin-covered trolleys, suggesting they may be from some other place, perhaps even refugees from another world. Herne here is seen as an outsider, one who never rests but never fully assimilates with his environment.
With no clear sense of leader they stop at a moments notice, every sense intensely alert, nostrils, eyes, ears, mouths, bodies utterly aware of the movement of the city. Travelling one of four city circuits in a series of choreographed and improvised movement. There will be no sound. At times the flock form circles, to communicate or to share some of the urban treasures they have collected. During the course of lunch time (12 – 2pm) the public will find the flock on the move or gathered in open spaces, they most likely will watch with interest to see what they are doing and become involved in their intense sensitivity to the city environment. They will then see them move on, or perhaps follow the flock for a block as they move with graceful precision at a pace and flow at odds with the environment.

The Spirit of Herne
This is a light and sound performance, reflecting the way the central city is inhabited after dark. Here, Herne is caught as a graceful presence. Like a Pagan god of antiquity, the silhouetted image of a male figure with horns is projected onto buildings and windows. It is an unexpected and slightly bewildering image, free and unconstrained, never aggressive yet inclining the viewer to discover a world of dreams and myths, a link between sky and ground.
This poetic vision of Herne changes proportion and location, adding a mysterious freedom to his presence in the city. These projected video images (up to three locations at a time) may be positioned in neighbouring buildings, inside shop-windows or mobile from inside a temporarily parked vehicle. Together with the faint sound of a stag call echoing down the city streets his image will become something to look out for, one must be attentive to signs, looking up, down or sideways for traces.


In the third and final ballet, Herne is re-discovered as a series of live-bodied hunting trophies protruding from the side of a single building or walkway. Dancer’s partially hidden bodies protrude from the wall as single limbs, torsos, heads or horns as if suspended in space. The ‘wall of trophies’ catch the eye of the passer by (seemingly escaping the laws of gravity) reminding them of a treasured collection of our mythic past.
Set to music, this is a time-based performance with acrobatic elements, gracefully linking the dancers to form a single landscape. This tableau of trophies is finally a celebration of humanity and a reminder that Herne remains present in changing forms, within us all and within our collected treasures.