Reviewer: David Doyle
“This is Scotland” the speakers boom at one point during Jamie and Lewis Wardrop’s The Dwelling Place. Indeed, this is the story of Scotlandor at least part of its story. While in Leverburgh on the island of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, the Wardrops stumble upon an abandoned house and that experience forms the basis for this musing on the loss of a culture.
In the basement of Summerhall, the pair has created an immersive multimedia performance, which, when all the elements combine, is a poignant exploration of the fragments left behind in life. Avoiding the trap of nostalgia, this is a strong exploration of the dwindling of a culture, and the impact on community that has.
Free to walk around the space as you see fit, the piece has something of a gallery feel to it but one that is frequently interspersed with more performative moments. This melding of form allows for a multifaceted look at the complex issue that is dwindling populations in such remote areas. The fusion of live music and projection is expertly executed and combines with some charming storytelling to paint an intriguing portrait of our changing ways of life.
The execution of so many technically complex elements is a joy to behold. The pair’s exploration is measured and offers a real insight into life in a small community. The technology woven into the piece feels particularly poignant given the thematic look at modernity’s impact on acommunity. A deft examination of an issue, The Dwelling Place, offers a different form of performance but one that is a real triumph.
Runs until 19 August 2016 | Image: Sandra Franco