Higby, Sha Sha – Cows In A Cave
Story of the Box
My box is an extension of my performance art, perhaps it will be a prototype for a scene in a performance someday. You, the observer, are to take the little striped sticks with the cut-out drawings on them and slide them through the holes to change the order if you like or make different scenes. It is called “Cows in Transition” comprised of multiple drawings of a cow I loved.
There is a video on you tube of it moving. I spent 5 years in Indonesia working with the shadow puppets and working with carvers to punch out the intricate patterns out of cow hide. Those are more delicate but I wanted to see what I could do with cardstock. It would be nice to have a colored light behind the cloth screen.
About my work: I approach dance through the medium of sculpture. Using the painterly manipulation of physical materials and textures I make one by one from wood, paper, silk, ceramic, and gold leaf; interwoven with a labyrinth of delicate props, my work strives to create a path where movement and stillness meet. Shreds of memory lace into a drama of a thousand, intricate pieces; slowly moving, stirring our memory toward a sense of patience and timelessness.
Every time we move about, the space around us is filled with drawings, colorful sketches and complex patterns. Our thoughts blend into the air and space about us. With these “costume sculptures”, I want to show how we are the elegant complexity of the atmospheres about us. Emotions and thoughts cluster on the surface of our bodies and then break away, fly, and float off. Each bundle of emotion becomes yet another entity in itself, splitting into many facets again, and gathering, and returning again to their source.
The air surrounding us is like many planes in space, assorted canvases of images, on the surface of our skin there are multiple little theaters and stages. One inch away from our body is already the sky under which the drama of this tiny world unfolds. As the costume stirs itself, it is as if every movement is filled with thousands of adventures. The peak boxes we used to make out of shoeboxes as children fascinated me. You look into the peephole, and see cutout-layered landscapes portraying a silent wonderful paper world. I want to do this. I still am allured by the “theatrical” quality of flipping through ancient palm leaf drawings from India. They are visual line drawing clusters of symbolic journeys through love, emotions, battles, and life. I want eventually to make a pictorial theater that is slowly moving and freeze frames at the moment of departure into another scene. One of my goals has been to make theater like turning through pages of a book of paintings. The stylized turning of the pages makes the intricate detail of each individual picture as it comes to life. The slow shivery movements of each scene make the potential of the next scene even greater. A shattered piece of a story seems even richer alone because it has the potential of being inserted into the whole.