“The Dungbeetle and Sisyphus”

A narrative, humorous and maybe semi-tragic tale and live art performance piece that resonates with some poetry and Cumbria’s faded clay industry.

The project takes a sincere/humorous look at the life of a dungbeetle placed in parallel with the mythological, eternally punishing, futile and hopeless fate of Sisyphus. (Alluding to questions about meaning in life, but light-hearted in presentation. The ball of clay, the act of rolling it as life’s task and purpose/dharma.)

(Sisyphus : punished in Hades for his misdeeds in life by being condemned to the eternal, futile, hopeless task of rolling a large stone to the top of a hill, from which it always rolled down again.)

Live Art / sculpture: The artist will be the dungbeetle, will be Sisyphus and roll a giant-human-sized ball of clay (dung) around sites in Cumbria and conduct interviews with passer-byes.

Films :
Performance: (live art, as described)
Interviews : involving local volunteers (chance street passer-byes & recruited ones), telling their versions of Sisyphus, mythologically correct and flawed, volunteers will be encouraged to elaborate… (I have conducted tests and people are surprisingly easily engaged in telling tales and reminiscing on further interpretations.)

Motivations other than existing interests:
Lost industry- changing industry / lost identity-changing identity.
The lost and changed clay industry of Cumbria.

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