Evolution of Fearlessness

Evolution of Fearlessness by Lynette Wallworth
An exhibition curated Lighthouse for Brighton Festival 2011, UK
7 May – 9 June 2011

As a curator, I have had the pleasure of working with the remarkable Australian artist, Lynette Wallworth on several occasions. This was one of the most significant.

The I organisation I directed from 2010-2014, Lighthouse was delighted to be part of Brighton Festival 2011, guest directed by Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. We partnered with the festival on the presentation of two major exhibitions by contemporary artists, Kutluğ Ataman (Turkey) and Lynette Wallworth.

Lynette showed two installations at the University of Brighton’s galleries: Evolution of Fearlessness (pictured above) and Damavand Mountain (pictured below).

Evolution of Fearlessness was an intimate, interactive installation dealing with loss, survival and strength. The work incorporated filmed portraits of several women, originating from countries such as Afghanistan‚ Sudan‚ Iraq and El Salvador. They have lived through wars‚ or survived concentration camps or extreme acts of violence and are brought directly to the audience, through this intimate installation, to share their stories. Built around the importance of gesture‚ and responsive to touch, Evolution of Fearlessness provided a tactile gateway to the women contained in the piece. Whilst cinematic techniques are at the heart of Evolution of Fearlessness, the work went beyond cinema in its immersive and interactive form, revealing the strength of the human spirit.

Damavand Mountain was an elegant work made from footage obtained by Lynette during a residency in a small Iranian mountain village. A series of images track the cycle of a short lived poppy flower, a woman and a snow covered mountain. The movements of the flowers petals, the woman’s chador and the clouds suggest the impact of invisible forces that shape them daily. Their adjustments to the changing environment evoke a sense of endurance in human nature and nature itself. Through this series of visual metaphors Damavand Mountain presented a poetic and unobtrusive exploration of the global and governmental forces that shape the lives of those in Iran and around the world.

These works resonated strongly with the themes running through Brighton Festival 2011, which was inspired by the courage of its guest curator, Aung San Suu Kyi.

These exhibitions, and the presentation of Kutluğ Ataman’s installation Mesopotamian Dramaturgies, marked a new phase of Lighthouse’s work, where we took our programmes beyond our own venue.

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