For the past several years, along with working in digital media, I have been constructing mixed media environments and public installations, mostly with found objects, and using these as a kind of theatre space for interactions and performances. In so doing, I explore in depth the various aspects of specific sites. Many of these projects have had collaborative components, often with the public at large and/or whoever happens to come by as the construction of the piece or performance proceeds. Since for many of these I have used primarily found objects, the piece created depends upon the site itself and what I find; the nature of these installations and performances emerges from a consideration of the area’s particular history and geography.
Amed Beach Mandalas. While in Amed, East Bali in 2011 I created mandalas on the beach from natural objects found locally, including stones, shells, leaves, flowers, and coral, placed next to a tree whose branches I had wrapped with coloured yarn. Within this setting, illuminated at night with small LED lights, myself, my partner, and several local community members joined in three public performance pieces invoking the spirits of the dead. Such performances were somewhat transgressive within a Balinese society that believes in witchcraft and the dark powers. These pieces were sites of intense interest to the Jemeluk community of fishers and subsistence farmers, none of whom had ever been witness to or participant in anything like it. Photographs L. MacLean. Video created 2013 by L. MacLean. 7 minutes. Soundtrack Palestrina, Kyrie from Pope Marcellus Mass, remixed by L. MacLean.
The photograph below, from the documentation of one of the performances, was selected for The Dark of the Night, a juried exhibition of night photography held at Photohaus Gallery, Vancouver, Canada in March 2013.
In concert with the mandalas, I also created a Tree Piece on the beach, creating a stage set for a dance performance. Ten differently coloured skeins of wool were wound around two branches of the gigantic tree and, inspired by the bamboo pole decorations along the streets in east Bali, I also hung ten bamboo pinwheels obtained from a beachside cemetery on the same branches. These twirled and spun in the wind, looking very much like hands against the blue ocean and sky.