Black Nectar is a site-specific light & sound installation, that asks audiences to take slow, sensory walks through the inky-blackness of Bundanon’s forests at night, charting personal courses through seasons of change, animality and imagination – far beyond the blinding lights and howling tones of our contemporary existence.
Gathering during a time Europeans once named as ‘spring’ audiences will leave the comfy lights and sounds of Bundanon’s homestead area, to take powerful, personal, silent journeys into the long darks of night, heading ultimately towards the place of ‘Black Nectar’.
This most unusual of walks begins with impending darkness, and yet ultimately ends with the faintest, sweetest of glimmers – an en-lightening, re-sounding of our seasonal futures?
WHERE: Siteworks Festival 2014, Sept 27-28th, Bundanon, NSW, Australia. Start at the bottom of the Amphitheatre track, on the edge of the forest.
WHEN: 7.00pm – 10.00pm
Follow up walk on Sunday morning, Sept 28th, 8.30am (as part of the ‘Bio-blitz’ day), led by project collaborator Dr. Peggy Eby (flying fox specialist) – Peggy will lead us in retracing steps of the night before - and take interested audiences on a scientific journey through the same landscapes, with new eyes and understandings.
Bring warm clothes and covered shoes suitable for walking on uneven ground. Please note that you will need to feel reasonably steady on your feet, as it will be darker than normal. However you will not be rushed, safety is our concern, and so we welcome one and all! We will provide instruction to you before you set out, and red safety lights with which to navigate the track.
We do ask you to leave your bright torches either securely with us at the entrance to the walk or in your pockets, as bright flashes would ruin the experience for others .. and also in this case please leave your chatter at the bottom of the track - the 10-minute walk each way is made in silence – realities and basic needs of parents and others excepted.
We look forward to seeing you at Bundanon!
Keith Armstrong (Artistic director), Lawrence English (Co-Director), Luke Lickfold (MaxMSP Design), Dr. Peggy Eby, Consulting Behavioural Ecologist (UNSW/freelance), Heidi Millington (Consulting Ecologist/Artist)
This new work is structurally grounded by a significant body of biological survey work undertaken over the past decades by behavioural ecologist Dr. Peggy Eby and her collaborators. Peggy’s work seeks to understand the migration patterns of Grey Headed Flying Foxes as they move across Australia’s eastern states, following the changing flowering patterns of their favoured native eucalypts, performing their critical task as one of our most significant long range tree pollinators. If we lose these nomadic Flying foxes, as is rapidly happening today, then so too goes much of our native hardwood forests across three states. Peggy has surveyed the site at Bundanon and identified it as a particularly attractive Flying fox feeding ground.
As with all ecological survey work, Peggy’s work is at heart a profoundly complex study of interconnecting systems of animal, environment and culture. Black Nectar both continues a long art science dialogue with Peggy and other Flying Fox specialists originating in 2010 with the Remnant Artlab Bat-Human project, and builds strongly on our recent art science works Night Rage for ISEA 2013 'Synapse-A Selection', Night Fall for the Queensland Museum and Light of Extinction for the National Museum of China.
Australia Council For The Arts, Arts Queensland, QUT Creative Industries and Bundanon Trust. This project has been kindly assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and QUT Creative Industries. Keith Armstrong is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts.