The Living Stage (Lorne)

28783400_10156449114241833_2190674368227824009_nAfter an exciting season on the Lower East Side in New York, The Living Stage is returning home to Victoria (Australia) — this time to the coastal town of Lorne. A centre piece of the Lorne Sculpture Biennale, the project will provide a platform for celebrating the town’s vibrant and eclectic mix of flora and fauna, as well as hosting performances by local artists and musicians.

27072903_10156305866841833_7280562264386017950_nFor those of you that are new to The Living Stage, my original idea (conceived during my PhD in 2012) centred on creating a recyclable, biodegradable, biodiverse and edible performance space that combined stage design, horticulture and comunity engagement. Part theatre, part garden and part growing demonstration, the Lorne project will feature a portable plant-lined stage amongst a corridor of suspended botanical sculptures.

26904196_10156305173791833_2846022832535417635_nSince its inception in 2013, I’ve been incredibly lucky to see the project grow and take shape over multiple interations. The Living Stage (Lorne) is our sixth project and it is a concept that continues to travel the world. However, as each living stage evolves out of a direct response to the localities of site, ecology and community, no project is ever the same.

26903831_10156305866576833_5365080898599036411_nThe Lorne project has been created in collaboration with Ashlee Hughes, assistant designer Pia Guilliatt and the local community. Lorne residents, Helen Smith and Colin Leitch have been particularly instrumental in procuring soil, plants and objects for the stage, with more than 45 boxes of plants actively growing in preparation for the Lorne Sculpture Biennale Opening on the 17th of March.

The Living Stage will include a series of performances by local artists over the three weekends from 17. March to the 2nd April. I’m super excited to announce our  current line-up for The Living Stage performances: including local musicians and dancers that will respond to the unique space that surrounds them. Information about our artists are listed below:

Saturday 17th March: Mountain Grey (live music) 3-5pm

13391404_1177698585584102_678071114202492654_oImmerse yourself in the heart of the Blues on The Living Stage. Join us in celebrating an appreciation for all things nature through the lyrical poetry of front man Mike Robinson Koss (vocals/harmonicas/lyrics) and his dynamic ensemble. Complete with vintage guitar tones and bluegrass/ragtime style, this local band combines environmental themes with character and pizazz that will have you tapping your feet and asking for more.

Sunday 18th March: Randall Forsyth ‘In search of an acoustic shoreline’ (live music) 1-3pm

RandallRandall has a long history of playing guitar on the south west coast in various incarnations, most notably with the Beachniks since the early nineties. The Living stage provides a perfect opportunity for him to explore a more ambient side of his palette. Drawing on the natural sound elements of wind, ocean and forest, he hopes to compliment the natural soundscape rather than dominate with a series of acoustic guitar loops composed and created in real time. Links to contemporary songs may intercede in the overall context of exploring the tidal qualities and interwoven duality of landfall.

Helen Duncan in The Texture of It by Elanor Webber. Photography by Gregory LorenzuttiEASTER Weekend: 31st March & 1st April: Helen Duncan & Sofie Burgoyne (Dance performance) 9:30-2:30pm (final performance: 2pm)

Two highly skilled dancers will inhabit The Living Stage to grow an original performance piece over a two-day creative development period. Sculpted live during the Easter Weekend, these performers will develop a site-specific, experimental work in response to lush design of living plants. Bring your picnic, kids and your coffee, relax in front of the stage as these performers work hard to create your show. Stop by and have a chat to them and maybe offer some creative ideas. See what has evolved when they perform a final showing for you on Saturday 31st March and Sunday the 1st of April at 2pm.

 

Sponsored by: the Thrive Research Hub (Melbourne School of Design, The University of Melbourne), the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee and Graham Blashki & Evelyn Firstenberg. This project has been made possible by the community of Lorne, including: Helen Smith, Anne Nadenbousch, Colin Leitch, Sue Grant and Grace Nicholls. Assistant designer: Pia Guilliatt. Set builder: Tim Denshire-key. Plants donated by Batesford Nursery, Bushland Flora, Flinders Nursery, Tavistock Nursery, Tree Growers Advanced (TGA), Warners Nurseries, Rhodo Glen Nurseries. 

Photo credits:

Community workshops in Lorne. Photos by Tanja Beer and Grace Nicholls. 

Helen Duncan in The Texture of It by Elanor Webber. Photography by Gregory Lorenzutti’

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