23 September 2017 to 24 September 2017

Afterglow by artist Rochelle Haley presented an expanded ‘painted’ space and collaborative performance for immersive audience engagement.  Haley worked with choreographer Brooke Stamp and textile artist Kate Scardifield to design and create an immersive space for a group of 20 dancers to perform at varying intervals and durations over the course of two days. The dancers wore costumes in shapes and colours that echoed the palette and forms of the art installation, transforming them into moving elements of the installation ‘painting’.

The project explored key characteristics of abstraction in painting, including colour and pattern, which can disguise objects in plain sight. It achieved this by baffling the eye with a reduced palette of nude tones, warm metallic surfaces and contrasting forms of curves and lines. The work comprised wall painting designs, moveable walls staggered sculpturally throughout the gallery, reflective vinyl shapes on the floor and walls, coloured lights, draped fabric, and beaded curtains.

On entrance to the installation/performance, the audience were offered non-gender or age specific cape-like wearables similar to the costume of the dancers, making them less distinguishable from the performers and transforming them into moving compositional elements of the installation ‘painting’. Considering installation a ‘stage’, or a spatial structure laid out around a viewer and open to their movement and agency, this project explored structural similarities between installation and performance.

Afterglow extended Rochelle Haley’s work in movement patterns in choreography and painting, and the potential for visual structures to speak to each other in a new interdisciplinary language. Formal, compositional and abstract structures are common denominators of painting, installation and performance within her practice. The concepts of ‘containment’ and ‘escape’ were explored within the fields of painting and performance. As were the conditions of framing, duration and division between audience and performer. Looking at the pictorial and spatial aspects of choreography in physical and architectural landscapes is a largely unexplored area of practice said Rochelle Haley.

Rochelle Haley lectures in expanded painting and experimental drawing at UNSW Art & Design Australia, where she completed a PhD in 2009. She has staged 10 solo exhibitions and has participated in over 45 national and international group exhibitions and collaborations, including curatorial selection for shows and performances at leading national, state and regional galleries.

COLLABORATORS: Brooke Stamp (choreography) | Kate Scardifield (costumes) | Figtree Physie (dance)