I headed towards the Yuck ‘n Yum launch at Generator Projects on Sunday thinking that I would sample just a little of the soup they had promised and quickly pick up the latest copy of the zine. However, Alexander Aitken invited us to join in with her I Lava Dundee performance by stepping onto an island and then starting to construct colourful new lands.
So I did. Alexander stated that initially the first three rules below were the most important:
- The ground is lava – DON’T TOUCH THE GROUND.
- To move forward cut your island on half, float it where you want to go.
- If you are standing – Mark make onto your island.
I started by standing still and subsequently having to doodle. Initially, my head was blank so I started drawing squares of different shapes and sizes – a little inspired by the paper islands surrounding me that were starting to change shape and size.
Then I decided to cut my island up and float it as advised – before stepping out onto new land. Then I paused to take stock and subsequently draw again – this time I mostly drew abstract shapes that bounced off drawings already made by other people. This process carried on for a while and midway through the process sellotape (and some new rules) were introduced:
- Once your island can’t get any smaller – use sellotape to stick islands together and go backwards.
- As new islands are created more people can join in.
- Lava is death.
So we all started to stick the deconstructed paper islands back together to create new lands – some strived to create mighty empires – comparing the process to an abstracted version of Risk. Although I thought some of the physical contortions that were necessary to stand and draw on a small pieces of paper made it more like Twister at times.
I really enjoyed the process of collaborative drawing. I also liked the game element – it made it fun and added a slight purpose to taking part. For me, there was no real focus in the drawing and no pressure to create a masterpiece – so I think the drawing felt quite free. It was fun to see how the different mixture of people taking part (which was compiled mostly of artists, illustrators and designers) interpreted the game – some enjoying the challenge of drawing the smallest piece of paper possible, whilst others enjoyed amassing land and plenty of drawing space.
I also caught the end of a performance by Beth Savage that created this silhouette of a deer. As the event carried on, the tomatoe soup used to create the outline dribbled down the walls and created quite an impact on the space – it started to look a little like we had witnessed some gruesome crime.
So I ended up spending a good few hours there enjoying the two performance art pieces by Beth Savage and Alexander Aitken, listening to some tunes by Ben Robinson and eating two mighty bowls of soup (one killer leek and potatoe soup and one vegetable soup) hand crafted by Morgan Cahn and catching up on fun chats with miscellanous fun people. A good Sunday afternoon.
Words & Images © Hazel Saunderson