Sanctuary Road
Sanctuary Road



Sanctuary Road

Date: 25-Jun-2009 – 12-Jul-2009

Location: Contemporary Art Tasmania Small Space Gallery

On first viewing The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, I was immediately transported back to my childhood and the pleasurable memory of watching matinee westerns on a tiny black & white TV in a suburban lounge-room.  The film’s dynamic intro titles and haunting Ennio Morricone score epitomise the western genre for me – as does the ice-cool stare of Clint Eastwood. The climax – when The Good, The Bad and The Ugly finally square off in an intense three-way showdown – had a powerful effect that stayed with me from that moment and, eventually, became the impetus for this work-in-progress.

The original 1.30min scene seemed endless; trapped in an eternal and relentless present where tension mounts rapidly, plateaus perpetually and ends abruptly.

I wanted to explore this sensation of an eternal present in Sanctuary Road. By re-editing and looping the scene I sought to build a tension that was never relieved; a moment that never passed, a narrative with no end. I also wanted to disassociate the new work from its recognisable source and traditional narrative origins. By removing the figures from a conventional western landscape and relocating them in contemporary suburbia, I aimed to reinforce a recurring theme in my practise – the use of the motif of the suburbs and other metaphors of progress – and explore shifts in cultural perceptions of time, space and memory through technological advancement.

Raef Sawford

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