Festival of Ancients

Description Details

'It's an amazing contemplative space. There's something strangely calming about sitting in there and imagining the future.' Audience member

Enter a time capsule and listen. From the ground emits the sound of our past actions and what we once did to the earth

Welcome to the Festival of Ancients. It’s the future and we have come together to celebrate and lament the past.

‘The Era of Mass Extraction’ (c 2018) was an extraordinary time in human and ecological history. This is what we found and heard in that layer of earth. We invite you to visit our time capsules. The meditative sound inside rises up from the ground carrying the memory of the dwellers from this past era. Lie down, listen and reflect on the past.

Festival of Ancients is a sound installation consisting of 3 ‘pods’ made from 8,000 donated plastic bags woven together by Jo Hellier and over 40 volunteers.

Since the plastic bag charge was introduced in the UK the number of bags given out has reduced by 83% from 7 billion a year to 1 billion. However 300 million tonnes of plastic is still produced each year and 8 million of that ends up in the ocean. In an age of consumerism, fast-fashion and oil-based things, Festival of Ancients contemplates what future generations will discover when they go looking for traces of their ancestors. What will our descendants think about the remnants of brightly coloured plastic embedded in rocks, washed in from the sea?

This event is part of the In Between Time Summit Day 3 programme. The event is included in the 1-Day Ticket or 3-Day Summit Pass and cannot be booked separately.

Jo Hellier is an artist working with choreography, installation and voice. She makes multi-art-form pieces that take place outside as well as in theatres and galleries. Her work explores the relationship between human and non-human, exploring different ways of talking about the future and climate change that don’t make people shut down. This work stems from a fascination and love of the natural world and a desire to explore our relationship to it. Her practice is a mix of listening, increasing awareness in the body and training the imagination. Jo’s work is conceptually driven, and political through its process, always collaborative and ecologically minded.

Credits: Artist: Jo Hellier / Sound Design: Yas Clarke / Structural Design: Alejandro Padron / Producer: Joanne Matthews / Photos: Paula Harrowing and Alejandro Padron Voices: Danny Prosser, Lorenzo Prati, Alice Quigley, Grace Swordy, Jono Burgess, Sean Clark, Guy Lochhead, Leila Gamaz, Rosena Powell, Jo Hellier & Yas Clarke

Commissioned by Artsadmin for 2 Degrees Festival 2017 and supported by Bristol Biennial, Knowle West Media Centre and Interval, Bristol.

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Venue Details