material weathering

Words may make these journeying strands seem definitive but they are rough tracks subject to the malleability of surface and force (Phillips, 2014, p. 289)

Material weathering increasingly draws our attention during the three month installation of shredded paper rain. Children and paper rain collaborate in unbridled tossing, tunnelling, twisting, flying, curling. Air transforms into a visible fog of white dust. Unexpected clouds permeate and disperse attention and noticing. Breathing changes, coughing ensues, and colours darken. Weather changes.

Playful tumbling and resting bodies transform sharp paper edges into softer, supple, crumpled strands. In noticing this material weathering we recognise the history of paper as chemically altered and regulated, printed on, scarred, pressed, stamped, shredded, torn, pulled apart. And finally collected into the paper rain installation re-weathered with time and multiple bodies. Weathering transforms.

paper rain huddles together.

Engaging with paper rain offers the perpetual in-process of material weathering. In reimagining shredded paper as rain, paper rain agency is immediately embodied by child bodies. Paper rain moves the children from wild abandon to detailed noticing inspiring movement in ways not normally provoked in a gallery space. We notice the lively naturecultures active in the gallery and how the seeming paradox of a controlled environment affords a heightened sensitivity to materials and to embodied experiences of imagination. The rain-paper-child presence transforms rain, paper, child. There is no real rain. But the weathering is deeply felt, and we are left wondering:

What is made possible if child-rain relations are amplified by splashing in and weathering with material rain?

Phillips, M.  (2014). Choreographies of Thought: Dancing Time back into Writing. Ravelli, L., Paltridge, B., & Starfield, S. (Eds). Doctoral Writing in the Creative and Performing Arts.England: Libri Publishing.