We began on the 1st of September 2014 confronting the search for utopia at Shawbrook in Ireland.
Sleeping in a cozy wagon in the middle of the forest built from an old caravan that seemed to have the fabric of dreams woven into the ingenious design, I felt like I had run away with the circus in pursuit of wonder.
Starting the day with a direct intake of oxygen from the 15,000 tree strong forest. My brain and body are immediately invigorated to tackle the philosophical and physical challenge of searching for utopia.
What does that really mean? Utopia is defined as ‘ an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect’. The term originally coined by Thomas More in 1516 serves us with a loaded concept to enquire into idealism and hope for a better place. There are countless examples throughout history of the tragedies caused by reckless idealism put into action and probably enough failed Utopias to encourage us to put this notion to rest...
But not without taking a hard look at why the notion of Utopia exists in the first place. As a word it represents a dream to improve or even perfect life on earth. What that often turns into is a dangerous attempt to enforce ideology, belief systems and rules onto a large group of people. It relies on mass compliance to a single philosophy. If Utopia is a place of bliss, freedom and eternal happiness but requires submission to an ideology that sacrifices freedom and independent thought, the concept itself is surely flawed.
If we turn this search inwards to examine the material of dreams, hopes and desires we begin to enquire into the essentials of human nature. Humanity has been driven forward by the belief that we can make the world a better place. I am interested in dissecting our basic motivations in an attempt to better understand existence. Using the concept of Utopia as a tool to build fantasy into everyday life, merging reality and dreams embedded deep in our psyche.
What this search has revealed so far is conflict between opposing forces and the pain caused from dissatisfaction and unrealistic dreams. It has also revealed the simplicity of joy and wonder as a state of being, always there when we’re ready to accept it.
So the search for utopia has become more of an untangling and letting go of the obstacles that stand between us and our own natural state of bliss. 2 weeks into the creation I became horrified by the impossible task at hand of searching to reveal a place that doesn't exist- until I realised that this was the whole point. We are searching and enquiring into the abyss of hopes and dreams as a vehicle to enable us to arrive fully here in a state of acceptance.
As we continue the creation of Channel Rose I am intrigued to discover how far we can push the concept to unravel the figments of our most necessary and frivolous hopes. We put on our rose tinted glasses, get out our walking sticks and prepare to get dirty on our voyage into the fabric of human desire.
A physical study on the undoing of self. Like chameleons we must shed layers of who we are in the pursuit of harmony, in an attempt to return to our most natural state of being. In the pursuit of neutral we become everything but: trembling, stomping, flying, reaching ,spinning, invigorated sweaty bodies in a cathartic release of triumph and disillusionment.