Western Australian Maritime Museum (2005) Victoria Quay, AU

Revolution: Media Performance

Walking with Water (Solo) Exhibition

Sarah Jane Pell

Revolution was performed to camera in front a small impromptu audience gathered on Bathers Bay, Fremantle in April 2005. The crew filmed the piece without rehearsal and in a two-hour period. It was approaching dusk. The climate was brisk, the water crisp and there was evidence of an electrical storm approaching from Rottnest Island. According to the camera lens, the skyline was a brilliant contrast to the eerie steel waters and my pale flesh. There was urgency and electricity to our playfulness. The meteorological conditions were, in hindsight, a perfect ontological metaphor. Revolution documents a new kind of water-wheel engagement.

Revolution 1 2005 Sarah Jane Pell Revolution 2 2005 Sarah Jane Pell Revolution 3 2005 Sarah Jane Pell Revolution 4 2005 Sarah Jane Pell Revolution 5 2005 Sarah Jane Pell Revolution 6 2005 Sarah Jane Pell
Revolution, 2005 performed by Sarah Jane Pell, Bathers Bay WA. Underwater Camera Video Adam Burke, Assistant Kirsten Hudson, Photos David Hocking.

Revolution, Filmed Bathers Bay, Fremantle Western Australia 2005

For Sarah Jane Pell's recalcitrant 'Revolution' she is strapped to a lightweight Ayro Wheel and rolls over and over repeatedly along the sand towards – and then into – the Indian ocean. During the Revolution 1937, circus acrobats were hired to train RAF personnel in the use of the Ayro Wheel. Getty Archives explain "This was not just a piece of fun. The aim was to help airmen learn how to avoid total disorientation when a plane went into spin." Aerowheels were also used for gymnastic and athletic demonstration. There were also numerous naturalist demonstrations of the physique in reference to DaVinci's perfect proportions as represented by the Vitruvian Man.

Revolution 7 2005 Sarah Jane Pell RAF Ayro Wheel Training - Getty Images RAF Ayro Wheel Training - Getty Images RAF Ayro Wheel Training - Getty Images RAF Ayro Wheel Training - Getty Images
A number of Ayro Wheels were acquired by the RAF, here the circus performers demonstrate to troups how to use one. (Reg Speller/Getty Images).

Media Performance Screenings and Mixed Media Exhibition Installation

The footage is now presented in galleries as a video looped projection. The silent fast-paced and frolicking media performance Revolution 2005 is paired with the glistening slow-motion work Second Nature Second Skin 2003 with it's haunting 'underwater breathing' soundscape, or the viceral work Hydrophilia 2004. Both may be installed as a distinct media performance installation or shown as part of a museum-style exhibit accompanied by the two performance apparatus: the silver "wings" suspended and spot lit; and the silver "wheel" precariously positioned so as to lure and temp visitors with the desire to either take flight or chance a ride.

Exhibition history

Boom! An Interplay of Fast & Frozen Permutations in New Media, International Australian-Taiwan New Media Arts Festival, Teipei Taiwan 2007;
Freedman Awards, DEPOT Danks Street Gallery, Sydney Australia 2006;
Hatched 06, National Graduate Exhibition, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth Australia 2006;
Walking with Water, Western Australian Maritime Museum, Fremantle Australia 2005

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