Dusk I, Abney Park Chapel, Stoke Newington, London, October to November 2012
Dust comprising of blue and red powder paint and glitter (remnants of a previous installation), was applied to found broken roof slate and used to create an eight foot high heart, in the dilapidated Abney Park Chapel. Pieces of coated slate were given to the 'Dusk' visitors. Video footage of dancing in the dust, moved across the sculpture and around the chapel. When on the surface of the heart it created the illusion of glass, with fragments reflecting the light and sparkling "like the night sky". This was inside the chapel, which was usually closed to the public and located at the centre of a non denominational graveyard; used for burials, as a nature reserve, and informally for homeless people sleeping rough.
Parts of 'Dusk' that could not be owned, such as the dark guided walk through mud from the cemetery gates to the chapel, by a man in a black cloak, bat poo landing on your head, and talking intimately with a stranger - in a quite silent part of London, contributed to the essence of the piece.
Limited edition prints of the work were displayed in the cemetery information room for three years.
"The sharing of an ending, was largely about acceptance of that which has gone before or lasted fleetingly; that is existence. The intimate nature of the short openings, that were a little earlier every day as the nights drew in, resulted in the sharing of personal stories between strangers whom volunteered reflections on their own experiences, in the company of bats flying overhead.
It also celebrated the existence of the crumbling chapel - one of the first in Europe to be open to all religions - before it was fenced off due to disrepair.
Broken roof slate from the chapel floor, along with left over materials swept up after a previous exhibition, formed the surface of the heart, which hosted a projection of a couple dancing who had now parted company. Pieces of the live painting were given to visitors as mementos." Lee Simmons
Haiku for Lee’s Dust
A piece of blue moon, is our sharing broken hearts, we dance into one.
Many thanks to Abney Park staff and volunteers, Simone Koch, Chihiro Onedera, Gavin White, and everyone who took part. (abneypark.org)