Choreography of Love and Labour




A series of choreographic investigations which sought to create a closed (artistic) system where all inspiration, funding and exhibiting occurred in and around an Irish farm.





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The Flower Picker (2011)




A six week performance as an embedded daffodil picker. This would be the first in a series of investigations centered around a farm in Portlaw, Ireland. "The Flower Picker" became a self sustained project during which the proceeds of picking funded the artistic work. There was no documentation so that the focus could remain on the work and its ephemeral quality. The audience was to be found in those around the farm - especially co-workers - and those who were interested in hearing the subsequent story. The story is all that remains of "The Flower Picker."






The Second Picking (2013)




Edd Schouten Second Picking




Edd Schouten Second Picking




Edd Schouten Second Picking




Edd Schouten Second Picking




Edd Schouten Second Picking




The labour is the rehearsal, the field the stage. Capture it in a one minute expression at the end of the day.


A project which returned the investigation to the flower picking fields of Portlaw, Ireland after two years. The initial project “Choreography of Love and Labour - the Flower Picker” was a performance which treated the daffodil fields as a stage. This time, the field mirrored the studio space where artistic creation germinates and finds completion before transferring to a space dedicated to presentation - generally, the white gallery space or the black theater space. The space and the physical activity inherent to it - picking daffodils - became an inspired space for artistic investigation. The act of picking flowers was given an added layer - beside the actual labour - becoming a sketch, a rehearsal, a conceptual investigation inherent to the artistic process. The result of the day’s investigation remained in the field and was immediately expressed as a one minute “dance” at the end of each working day. The “dance” was framed in a photograph which was both a registration of the entire minute of expression and a tangible extension of the work.






Leave No Stone Unturned (2011)







When the daffodil bulbs are harvested the machines do most of the work. As the harvester sails up and down the drills, the human labour separates the valuable bulbs from the stones. Still, some bulbs end up with the stones and would normally rot away in the weather. Salvaging those bulbs and offering them for planting became the core of a project in which the viewer/art consumer was given a bag of bulbs - a bag of salvaged potential flower beds.






Lily Salvage (2012)















At the end of the lily season, the agricultural tunnels are cleaned out. Once the lilies have been cut and sold, the compost they grew in and the left over bulbs are considered waste. It is economically more viable to buy and replant new lily bulbs for the following year. A suggestion was made to the farmer that he commission a land art sculpture for the farm using the compost and the bulbs. The cost of the commission would be the same as what it would usually cost to clean out the tunnels. The resulting 50 by 6 meter sculpture turns into a field of lilies every summer.