Grey Heron and Hummingbird

"Does collaboration require more than one artist? Victoria Rance has pushed the concept itself by travelling from her studio in Deptford to California, in order to meet and work with an alter ego. So while the result is the work of a single artist, its very essence is in collaboration. It is told as a fantasy, a magic fable, with two characters Grey Heron and Humming Bird. Rance’s studio abuts Deptford Creek, where every day she can see the real Grey Heron guarding the water in the twenty first century. His spirit friend, Californian Humming Bird, was alive when Native Americans were coming to grips with the effects of incursions into their territories by the White Man. Humming Bird witnessed the changes in tactics by the tribes from their initial friendly welcome to what they saw as a vast land big enough to share, to later resistance and guerilla warfare as the realisation dawned that the White Man could not be trusted, and that the Natives' reservations were little more than prisons. As Grey Heron faces incursions by developers onto his own territory around the Creek, Humming Bird comes to talk to him to tell him about the brave and wise Chiefs who led the resistance in America. He passes on some of the speeches and successful tactics used by those who survived. Humming Bird whispers in the ear of Grey Heron, and uses other ways to communicate to help save the Creek for future generations of birds like King Fisher, Peregrine Falcon, Swan and the even the spirit of Black Redstart. When the Native Americans realised how desperate their situation was, a movement began with the story of a saviour who would help them, and the Ghost Dance was born as a way of communicating this. It had such a powerful meaning to the Native Americans, that the White Man had it banned. Humming Bird witnessed it and will teach it to Grey Heron. Victoria Rance takes on the mantle of her neighbour Grey Heron and listens through him to the words of Humming Bird."

Iavor Lubimorov curator of One-Plus-One
Lubomirov Angus Hughes Gallery November 2015

Grey Heron 2015 Feathers, jute, cotton
Hummingbird 2015 Pewter, wood

 Grey Heron and Hummingbird on Deptford Creek
2015 photomontage

 Grey Heron and Hummingbird
2015 Wax, wood and Plastilina

Accompanying text excerpt
(Victoria Rance/Grey Heron & Hummingbird)

Grey Heron faces a problem with the land around him
He doesn't own it. He has no concept of ownership. But he hunts here.
The Creek is being developed. Developers have a strong concept of ownership.
They are buying buildings on the Creek and building huge tower blocks. Many people will live in them.
Most of these people do not know about or understand Grey Heron.
He is put off by them. They disrupt his hunting.
The developers want the muddy Creek to be as clean as a swimming pool. Like in their pictures.
Other birds and creatures on the Creek are worried too. The Kingfishers, the Swans the Egrets, the Ducks.
Also the peaceful people who live on the Creek or look after it.
They are worried about their survival and the survival of the wildlife they love.
Humming Bird visited Grey Heron in a dream and told him about the original people who had lived around him in California and The United States of America, as it became. Those people are now called Native Americans.

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