Sutherland: Dark and Silent 2011: Project by Marcus Neustetter
In 2009 Marcus Neustetter started a project called “Reflections” in Sutherland because it was an international year of astronomy together with South African Astronomical Observatory in Sutherland. Artist Marcus Neustetter and Bronwyn Lace launched their project with experimental interventions during the night of New Years Eve 2008. The interventions on the 31 December 2008 were a precursor for the following two weeks of activities that resulted in a land-art and kite-flying spectacle up to and on the 14th January 2009. Sutherland Reflection aimed to create an experience for participation, artistic interventions and creative spectacle in the form of a community driven kite-flying artwork.
The artist intention was to address the current attitude and relationship between the seeming “distance” of the disadvantaged communities in Sutherland and international neighboring telescopic observatory. The resulting artistic intervention employed a playful activity to fill the minimal space in between these two communities and where their reality lies-between the earth and the stars. Together with youth of the Sutherland community Marcus and Bronwyn played with ideas of perspective, reflection, shadow and reaching for the stars, with the intention of developing outcomes that are meaningful and thought –provoking while being spectacular, aesthetic and enchanting.
The project was a two-week programme, the donated kites and creative skills that were transferred did stimulate opportunities for more kite events in the course of the year. Participating children have formed a Kite club, this and continued contact, research and intervention are all towards an annual event in the continued contact, research and intervention are all steps towards an annual event in the line of celebrating the qualities of darkness and silence found in space like Sutherland.