• The push & the pull

Judd, Ben, 2022, Show, Exhibition or Event, The push & the pull

Abstract or Description:

The Push & the Pull was a new site-specific work by Ben Judd, for Whitstable Biennale 2022. Created in partnership with local community groups the new work developed themes of belonging and not belonging, engagement and estrangement. Over five days an historic Thames sailing barge travelled between Whitstable and the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, acting as a creative space and site for experimentation and in the process exploring ideas around community and islands, both real and imaginary.

This new work considered the river as a channel of communication that connects communities; within this context the boat embodied conflicting ideas of separateness and togetherness. The boat-as-island suggested an isolated utopian project where narratives can be invented, reused and recycled within a relatively closed society.

Judd’s performance took place on the boat as it travelled between Whitstable and Sheppey, embodying a fictional lost community of the island. He also worked with several local community groups to develop responses to Sheppey and the locality, including: songs by Oast House Community Choir; prose and poems by a group of local writers; a dramatic performance by Big Fish Arts; and an instrumental composition with local musicians.

There were daily performances of Judd’s The Push and the Pull on the boat; six passengers could join its journey. These were bookended by further performances on the boat by the community groups both before departure and after it arrived at its destination.

Judd worked with 121 Collective to co-design and build a structure that was attached to the deck of the boat and also extended below deck. The design was based on local research on the Isle of Sheppey including the historic use of boats to house people and the subsequent use of boat materials to build housing on land.

Whitstable BiennaleKent, UKJun 2022Mixed show
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W190 Fine Art not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Copyright Holders: Ben Judd
Funders: Arts Council England, Ideas Test, Nottingham Trent University
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2024 12:58
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2024 12:58
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5816
Edit Item (login required) Edit Item (login required)