Ken Unsworth intends to take the audience on an operatic journey like no other, situated in a temporary theatre installation created in the central court of the Art Gallery of New South Wales on Saturday 21, Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 August 2010. (Note: There will be no performance on Sunday 22 August.)
The audience will in turn be delighted and disturbed with a performance that ranges from the surprising to the surreal.
Unsworth’s legacy is boundless and with a sense of urgency, nearing 80 years of age, he is keen to present his latest project. ‘If I don’t do it this year, I may not be around. I have got to do as much as I can while I have the chance’, he says.
The House of Blue Leaves is a collaboration with Australian dance artists for whom Ken Unsworth has created a phantasmagorical array of sculptural structures and contraptions to which Susan Barling, Anca Frankenhaeuser, Norman Hall, Patrick Harding-Irmer and Ross Philip apply the wisdom of their international experience and vivid imaginations with a combined expressive power to create unsettling, darkly humorous and arresting images and situations.
International composer and performer Jonathan Cooper has composed and arranged the score expressly for Blue Leaves and its principal singer, the renowned and admired cabaret artist Natalie Gamsu, is joined by a counter tenor and a quartet of boy sopranos.
Ken Unsworth is best known for his outstanding sculpture and installation art. His work Suspended Stone circle II, is one of the most popular in the gallery’s collection. Many may recall Unsworth’s moving tribute last year to his late wife, Elisabeth. Created in a series of specially constructed rooms on Cockatoo Island, A Ringing Glass (Rilke), was an amazing combination of giant sculptures, video, live and recorded music, and unexpected happenings like a grand piano emerging from the ceiling playing a pianola roll recorded by Elisabeth.
The House of Blue Leaves
Art Gallery of New South Wales
21, 23 & 24 August, 8pm, $65 members $75 non-members
Booking essential. Book online or call 02 9225 1878
Artist’s note:The House of Blue Leaves
It was brought to the attention of the artist that this was the title given to a play written in the 1960s in America. Ken Unsworth acknowledges this prior use.