OneOne - Daniel Belton & Good Company Arts
3 October 2014, Art Box Gallery - Christchurch
Reviewed by Sheree Bright
OneOne is an engaging film and art installation of enchanting visual and audio expressions. Artistic Director Daniel Belton, Good Company Arts, numerous collaborators and contributors offer a piece with high production value and creative depth. This union results in a stunning work where art, science, and spirituality converge.
In response to a trip to see the rare ancient hollow stones of the Maerewhenua River in New Zealand, Belton was inspired to create OneOne. The sound score was created first and is an integral part of the piece. Like an ancient whispered calling it gently beckons the viewer to be present. A casual viewer will feel thoroughly satisfied with a stroll through the installation. The insightful viewer will relish spending a good deal of time with this work, discovering and exploring its many layers.
A membrane of digital images dance across the screen in a film that appears both futuristically technical and anciently organic. A moving geometrical lattice work of dots and connecting lines illustrate navigational pathways to both terrestrial and celestial worlds. They emerge, rotate, evolve, and retreat in relation to each other. Topographical images fluctuate, representing the ocean floor or the undulating earth.
Exquisite flowing movements of the dancers are duplicated, mirrored, sped up and slowed down. Images of dancers slur and blur creating beautiful tracings of their movements. Janessa Dufty dances in absolute perfection for this work. Her movements are subtle, strong, and sublime.
Artistically, the film is fascinating and can stand on its own. United with the other elements, it is inspired. Images from the screen reflect in rectangular pools of water and shaped pieces of mirror on the floor. The installation contains black boxes with uplit bundles of reeds which are also symbolically utilised in the film.
Once I take the first step towards being a participant, a whole new vista of relationships with the piece emerge. Several hollow river stones in the pools can be rearranged and played as a rattle or flute. I put my fingers softly in the water and make little ripples, then waves. I soon realise how playing with the possibilities of water impact the reflection of the film, resulting in new dimensions of the work. Mesmerised, I am now part of the creation.
It is a precious privilege becoming a co-creator with the gifts the collaborators have provided in the film and soundscape. With its universal themes, like ‘everything is in motion’, this work dissolves boundaries, and can be appreciated by the scientist and artist within us all. OneOne gives a gentle call to our connection with the ancient past, a call to our connection to the imaginings of the future, a call into the simple purity and power of now. This piece is much more than a ‘must see’. OneOne is a brilliant collaborative work of art that exists as poetry between its various elements which ‘must be experienced’. Should the opportunity arise, let yourself play and maybe even dance.