Sylvia Schwenk_A shared space (video still)_2012_single channel DVD with sound, colour_duration 7:05 min
Every day throughout the Collaborateurs exhibition, we will be sharing an interview with one of the exhibiting artists...
How did you and The Gravedigger first meet?
I was working on an art commission in Europe and most days I would ride my bike past a cemetery close to where I lived. One day I got off my bike and went for a walk in the cemetery. It was such a beautiful tranquil space with green grass and blossoming flowers.
I sat on a bench in the cemetery listening to the quietness of the space, watching people tending graves, watering plants and spending time with their loved ones.
I was transported while sitting there and felt I needed to do a work of art about death - so I approached the Director of the graveyard and talked about my ideas of making a short film about what happens in preparing a grave for a burial.
Why did you choose to collaborate with The Gravedigger?
Death is such an important part of life and for many people it is a part of their everyday lives. Yet as a society we generally feel uncomfortable talking about death, funerals and grief.
I thought it would be good to make a work that looked at all these things in an accessible way and so I worked with two gravediggers, filming them as they prepared a grave for a burial.
What is it about collaboration as a process that appeals to you as a contemporary artist?
Sharing experiences, ideas and time with people.
What is it that you hope to realise through this collaborative project?
I wanted to make death more accessible. However, when I filmed the gravediggers an unusual thing happened, which changed the nature of the work.
I was unsure what to do with what transpired, but ended up presenting what I filmed, because this too is a part of life.
Sylvia Schwenk will be exhibiting today, Sunday 7 July, from 3pm-9pm.