Handmade disaster: deluge


Handmade disaster: deluge was created for conversations in ellipsis, a multi–site “material conversation” curated by Lisa Harms dealing allegorically with notions of territory and possession, loss and desire… shown as part of SALA (South Australian Living Artist Festival), 2012.

The work involved collecting sounds of the rain and playing them back in a gallery space through small speakers that were held in glasses and other vessels. The sounds were recorded over the period of one winter and the exhibition took place in the following dry season. Each speaker played a different recording of the rain, each held a small sound but when taken together they sounded like a deluge. The soundscape was constantly changing as the 32 channels looped at their own rate, evoking the feeling of being in an ongoing swelling and abating storm.

Artist Statement 

This work explores my relationship to the weather.

I am collecting the rain. Well the sounds of the rain (the smells too, and the feeling of relief and safety that I for some reason associate with this weather – but these are less tangible).

I grew up in Victoria and South Australia where rain is welcomed if sometimes begrudgingly. In these thirsty places the plants unfurl and the roof of my house becomes a blanket with me snug beneath it.

Last year I undertook a residency in Cairns during the wet season and those heavy deluges, screaming down at me from hot, grey skies brought a whole new cast to my experiences. I have memories of rain so hard and dense that even under shelter you feel pinned to the spot from the violence of it. I remember: a creaking weatherboard house that felt like a reckless boat, the delight of warm rain, the terror of cyclone, the feeling of giving in to uncontrollable weather (and the relief that brings).

I have used our soft, infrequent southern rain to make a deluge. I have collected for myself “a disaster”. This is a love letter to the Cairns wet season. A making and unmaking of my experience of a cyclone; a way of remembering the wettest state while standing in the driest.

Sasha Grbich, June 2012

Photographs by Gianna Grbich http://gpix.com.au/

Further information about Conversations in ellipsis..