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Collaboration on Victoria Emily Sharples, PHD performance work 'AGGREGATES 1. exploring the Happenings of Allan kaprow in a Doncaster sand Quarry.

Victoria Emily Sharples is an artist and PhD candidate at Leeds Beckett University in the School of Art, Architecture & Design. Her doctoral research project, Immaterial performance in lieu of the art object: a practice-based, environmental, research project, meditates on natural phenomena and draws attention, by artistic means, to eco-political concern. Often durational, her practice encompasses time-based performance, video, photography, conceptual scores and interactions. Informed by physical science and elemental philosophy her work utilises: sound, slowness and motion to accentuate the effects of human activity. Victoria studied BA Theatre and MA Performance at York St John University, graduating with a First-Class BA (Hons) Degree in 2013 and a Master of Art with Distinction in 2015.

Victoria is currently focused on exhibiting new material for public audiences across the UK. Recently, she brought together a group of artists and scholars to reinvent Allan Kaprow’s happening Fluids (1967), in a working quarry in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Allan Kaprow (b. August 23, 1927 – d. April 5, 2006) was one of the most influential artists of the second half of the 20th century. Largely known for the objectless nature of his arts practice, Kaprow coined the term “happening”, meaning a performance, event or situation as art, which was congruent to ordinary life. In California 1967, Kaprow recruited a group of local participants to build several enclosures measuring around 30 ft long, 10 wide and 8 high, using ice blocks as his material. Once in place, the enclosures were left to melt, eventually evaporating into thin air. In this reinvention, Victoria substituted ice for sand to multiply its original meaning. Over the course of one day about 200 sandbags were filled with sand to build the wall in Scrooby Top Quarry, Doncaster. The wall moved about 30 feet across the quarry, each bag relayed from one end of the wall to the other in succession. Alike the original, this reinvention meditated on simple and repetitive action. For Victoria, cooperative labour was essential to the piece. She notes: as we become ever more familiar with droughts and floods, we are tasked with strategies for their prevention. In the current eco-political climate, I am interested in the biological cycle of the material and the permanence of the art-object itself.

The Happening took place on August 6th 2017 and was supported by Rotherham Sand & Gravel Ltd. Victoria would like to thank York St John alumni Alexander Kaniewski and Keelan Swift for partaking. Other volunteers included: Stu Burke, Paul Stewart, Jackson Swaby, Harrison Swaby, Katy Crabtree, Matthew Jackson, Joana Cifre-Cerda, Jacob T Denness, Kat Hendy, Robbie McGann, Claire Robyn Booth, Kurpnieks Klāvs and Verity Francoise Martha. Documented by Ricky Adam, Tom Rodgers, Rafiqfuad Yarahmadi, Tom Gugan & Adrien and Arron Appleyard.

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