Emma Fielden in 2021

‘The Bells’ and ‘Andromeda and the Milky Way’ at 812B George St, Haymarket
10.06. - 04.07.2021

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Curated by Marco Rinaldi

Emma Fielden will present two performance-based artworks at 812B George Street that are like collision studies, investigating how two parts might become one whole or briefly connect. In both ‘Andromeda and the Milky Way’ and ‘The Bells’, Fielden and her fellow performer Lizzie Thomson will follow strict and minimalist patterns of enquiry to find spontaneous points of connection. The resulting physical encounters between charcoal, sounds and bodies ask us to consider the phenomenon of coalescence, alluding to the imagined merging of two galaxies or, ultimately, two humans.

For her newest work ‘The Bells’, Fielden and Thomson read the poem of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe aloud and in chorus with neighbouring church bells. They fold together spoken word, the “tintinnabulation that so musically wells”, and repeated paths around a quad marked out on the floor. When read by one voice, Poe’s poem traces the stages of an individual life, from tinkling youth to clamorous death. This has been transformed in Fielden’s performance by two voices in canon, reflecting upon moments of connection and disconnection between two people whose experiences are deeply interwoven. Beginning at different times, they each mark out a slow passage through the quadrants on the floor that correspond with the poem’s four parts, weaving in and around each other like unfamiliar clockwork. In her instructions for the performance, Fielden notes that “The sound is loud and fills the space. They will ring for fifteen minutes. As the bells begin, the first performer enters quadrant no. 1 and reads part 1.” Seeming to conduct even the encircling sound outside of the space, Fielden’s conviction is matched only by the uncertainty of the outcome. The pulsing repetitions and rhymes of the poem, which varies in length and haste, creates tumbling moments of dissonance and consonance.

Words by Alanna Irwin. Read the full essay here: The Bells, Essay by Alanna Irwin. 

Location: 812B George Street, Haymarket

Performance Times
The Bells
June 13     9:30am
June 20    9:30am
July 4        9:30am

Andromeda and The Milky Way
June 19     11am

Artist Talk
Sunday July 4 12pm – 1pm

Gallery Opening Hours
Thursday     11am – 6pm
Friday           11am – 6pm
Saturday      12pm – 5pm
Sunday         9:30am – 3pm
Opening hours differ for performances



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