Many Breaths (to lift an anchor from the sea bed)

Sam Trubridge (NZ)
Massey University, Wellington

This work attempts to use a collective action to retrieve an anchor that has laid on the Long Island seabed for many years, covered in coral and weed. Deep Anatomy participants and members of the island community will be invited to fill plastic bubbles with their breath and attach them to a growing cluster of bubbles affixed to its shank. Thus, piece by piece, the individual breaths will lift the anchor from the sea-bed and return it to the surface. An anchor is a boat’s connection with the earth through the sea-floor. It creates a link between the floating fluid state above and the safety and security of terra firma below: holding a boat fast in storms, and keeping it in harbour. Upon retrieving it from the seabed we will clean it in preparation for its next voyage – removing the accumulations to reveal the pitted and corroded metal underneath. This work will then be sent as a gift (or ‘vessel’) between the Long Island cluster for Fluid States, and the next cluster in Santorini, Greece. We hope that this might also help develop links between Long Island’s Greek population, who arrived on the island 150 years ago.

Photo on 14-09-14 at 8.21 AM

 Sam Trubridge is a performance designer, artist, and director for The Playground NZ. He has created performance art and theatre works for venues and events in New Zealand, Czech Republic, Spain, Brazil, Italy, UK, and the USA. This includes The Restaurant of Many Orders (UK, NZ, Italy) and with sleep scientist Philippa Gander Sleep/Wake for The Auckland Festival 2009. In 2010 he extended this collaboration with The Waking Incubator: a trans-disciplinary symposium with arts practitioners and sleep scientists. He is associate editor (Oceania) for World Scenography, a survey of performance design from 1975-2015. Until recently he lectured in Performance Design and Spatial Design at Massey University (NZ) and programmed Massey’s Print Factory Performance Laboratory. He currently directs the annual Performance Arcade on Wellington Waterfront and is studying toward a Phd in Creative Practises at Massey University. He is the director and convenor for Deep Anatomy.

A part of the programme for Deep Anatomy – a regional cluster for Performance Studies International #21 globally dispersed conference on Long Island, The Bahamas, April 26-May10, 2015.


9/5/2015: Many Breaths (to lift an anchor from the sea bed), #1. Compass Rose Beach, Long Island, The Bahamas. With breath from William Trubridge, Amelia Taverner, Daan Verhoeven, Georgina Miller, Tomoka Fukuda, Annelie Pompe, Meredith Smye, Tracy Davis, Sara Malou Strandvad, Tariq Jakobsen, Stephen Whelan, and Thomas Bouchard. Photos: Daan Verhoeven, Sam Trubridge, and Stephen Whelan.

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We shall go to sea my brother
Where three years hence an anchor lay
Past coral gardens on soft blue sand
In fathoms nine
Where sharks patrol and stingrays play
Breathe deep, my mother’s other son
Let us raise this arrow, this hook, this ship’s tether, from its rest
Lift this anchor from the sea’s deep bed
Hang it from a cloud of divers’ breath
Let it bob upon the swell awhile
Before its weight pulls it back to sleep
Let it fall from the light and waves
Let it plummet into the deep
Home again beneath the sea once more
Home again on the ocean’s breast

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