Festival Review: Freeze!


Presented by Nick Steur
Reviewed 15 March 2018

Nick Steur says he has been balancing rocks on top of each other since he was a child playing with the pebbles on the beach. But it was not until he was studying, at the Theatre Academy in Maastricht, and attracted an audience when he was playing around with rocks that he saw the full potential of this as performance art. He graduated in 2011 and has been producing complex sculptural pieces ever since.

The audience is invited into the Grainger Studio after an introduction by Steur where we are asked to keep silent during the performance. There is no assigned seating and audience members are encouraged to, quietly, move around to see Steur’s creations from different perspectives. The centre of the studio is marked out in a giant square containing nine square sectioned steel pipes of various lengths.

This area is surrounded by perhaps 70 – 80 rocks from the size of a tennis ball to the size of a Christmas turkey. There is a great variety of colours, textures and types of rocks and Steur  comments after the performance that he has rarely worked with such a wide range of rocks as he has found in SA – sparkling pink granite, black basalt, white marble and all the wonderful sedimentary rocks we find along the coast.

The audience is encouraged to clear their minds of preconceptions or expectations as each piece created will be unique. The artist carefully balances the first rock on the steel then selects one or more further rocks to balance on the first one. The audience was mesmerised by the concentration and effort Steur exhibited as he moved each rock this way and that until the perfect balance was achieved.

The final sculpture was made up of three small, one medium and two large stones all selected by audience members and Steur jokingly asked whether we were sure these were the stones we wanted. When the six stones were beautifully arranged and balanced he borrowed a bottle of water from the audience and created a stunning waterfall over the sculpture.

The time, patience and concentration of this performance and the permanence of the stones used, is in sharp contrast to the ephemeral nature of the works themselves. Last night’s efforts were not even photographed by the artist so you need to be there to see and experience it.

Reviewed by Jan Kershaw

Adelaide Botanic Garden
Sat 17 Mar, 3pm & 6.30pm
Sun 18 Mar, 7am, 3pm & 6.30pm
Kangaroo Island – Pelican Lagoon
Tue 20 Mar, 3pm & 6.30pm
Wed 21 Mar, 3pm & 6.30pm
Thu 22 Mar, 3pm & 6.30pm
Duration:  40-70 mins No interval
Tickets:  $39
Bookings:  https://www.adelaidefestival.com.au/booking_tickets




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