by Sundari Carmody
When I am sweeping the garden all I am thinking about is sweeping the garden. (1)
The smell of the fresh grass filled the space, roll on turf filled the entire floor. It took Meg Wilson more than her anticipated four hours to run the distance.
She was training for a marathon – a full marathon of 42.195km. She ran the marathon in a space measuring 6 x 12 metres.
Drink cups lined the room and people sat on the grass in the middle of the track. The calling out of kilometres. Wilson running to Chariots of Fire. It was beautiful and it was painful.
One might imagine running to be an opportunity for reflection, but it could also just be a time to think about running. Pure running. Zen running.
A misstep. Time stretches and folds. Rebalance and pace, step, pace, step, pace. The body burns and clenches. Remember to…
…remember to focus on the intent. Focus on the task at hand. Focus on the Performance. Time slows and bends.
Melati Suryodarmo stands at a table pulling a rolling pin back and forth over lumps of charcoal. Surrounding her is more charcoal covering the entire surface of the gallery floor.
She continues rolling. Crushing the charcoal down to powder. For 12 hours. Her task seems endless, her approach at once purposeful and purposeless. Her white garment absorbs the blackness.
The more she grinds the charcoal the more she is covered in soot; for hours she labours away. The soot slowly erases her, as it slowly erases all the forms in the room. The blackness absorbs her.
The artist is absorbed.
Richard Alwyn, In Search of Wabi Sabi with Marcel Theroux, viewed online August 2015, (London, BBC Four, 2011)