Sunday, June 29, 2008
Keeping his feet on the Ground
"The right to land: the ordinary landless man or woman's right to rent about an eighth of an acre of their own country for the purpose of growing some food..." Irene Evans Allotment Provision for the People
On Bristol's Golden Hill allotments, Tom Marshman explores the allotment plot as a performance space, putting a personal stamp on a shared community of skill and tradition. Keeping His Feet on the Ground continues Marshman's obsession with making the ordinary extraordinary and drawing magic from the everyday. Shows will take place for a limited audience of 20 over July, August and September, the performance changing as the seasons evolve.
"Tom's performance captivates - an understated charismatic soul he manages to propel between pathos and comedy - desolation and laughter resonate throughout" Live Art Magazine
A fairy tale amongst the lines of lettuces, pumpkin plants, September roses, cabbages and kings. Underneath the blanket of the earth steers a hidden land. The warm summer evenings disappear, the evenings draw in nightfall covers her coat over the land together with the autumn chill. The prisoners held captive by our queen for crimes against her thrown study what has grown well and what has struggled. They know the soil.
I remember sowing that very first magical bean, the backbreaking labour, the sweat the passing of time here. Summer closes down flowers dry up frost will soon come to leave only their traces and memories of me and the vegetables. I was placed in charge of this land in March; together we have learnt about growing, forever seasonally rethinking my allotment heart.
I know now if I ever go looking for my hearts desire again. I wont look any further than my own back yard because if isn’t there I never really lost it anyway.