This is a project from some years back when it was the Year of the Artist and ten regional arts boards provided funding for the creation of new work in unusual settings. The slogan was 1000 artists in 1000 places.
I was commissioned by South West Arts to make an installation for Exmouth Beach in Devon. The beach at low tide is a huge, wide, flat expanse of fine sand. My idea was to mark out a large square grid across this area with pyramid-shaped beacons, and - at dusk - invite people to walk through the space. I made 25 pyramids which were arranged in a 5 x 5 formation, covering an area 100 metres by 100 metres. Graham Calvert from Birmingham art collective Blissbody made electronic circuits for me so that each pyramid lit up for about 20 seconds when approached. Therefore as people walked through the space their progress was temporarily traced in a pattern of lights.
While were were setting up we used Exmouth Pavilion as our base and I noticed a poster for a performance by the Eden Nights ballroom dance troupe. I phoned them up and asked them if they’d consider a collaboration. They said yes. We took sixteen of the pyramids to the Pavilion Ballroom, set them up, and the dancers improvised a routine. Organised movement through space.
Subsequently I was invited to take 25 Pyramids to other locations for outdoor art events. These included West Park, Wolverhampton for Out of the Darkess; Porthmeor Beach, St Ives for New Year's Eve; and, at the invitation of Pete Massey organiser of Scarborough Festival of Light, to Scarborough Castle. This is a very ancient site owned by English Heritage who,understandably, didn't allow any fixing stakes in the ground. Instead we used sandbags.The opening night was a great success, but during the following week there was a coastal storm one night, the sandbags didn't hold, and many of the pyramids were destroyed. Sadly, with no insurance in place, this marked the end of the project.