A feature of the 2022 Sydney Festival program, Legs On The Wall will debut its new work, THAW, on Sydney Harbour this January.
The audacious work is a death-defying look at the current climate crisis, which sees three aerialists perform in relay over 10 hours a day atop a giant 2.7 tonne iceberg, suspended 20 metres above the waters of Sydney Harbour, from the foot of the Sydney Opera House.
Alone on the ice, each woman scrambles to protect the colossal structure as it melts throughout the Sydney summer heat, eroding over the course of the day. Unable to look away as her fate hangs in the balance, this work invites us to grapple with our own role in the climate emergency and define our collective obligation to a sustainable future inspired by the performer’s determination to survive.
“THAW is an artful statement on climate change and our shared sense of urgency for action,” said Legs On The Wall’s Artistic Director Joshua Thomson. “Art can be an amazing way for audiences to experience and engage with real issues and we’re hoping that people come away from THAW with an increased desire to take action against climate change.”
THAW was inspired by a past Helpmann Award-winning work of Thomson’s. In 2017, along with Gavin Webber and The Farm, Thompson premiered TIDE – a 49-hour durational work set in an estuary on a sandbar in Currumbin Creek on the Gold Coast for Bleach.
The sand bar was either underwater or fully exposed, which was affected by the tides. The idea with THAW was to take this concept much further working with artists Vicki Van Hout, Isabel Estrella and Victoria Hunt, to explore environmental shifts due to dramatic climate changes.
Legs On The Wall have initiated their own impact strategy and campaign to engage with audiences on action and minimize the work’s own environmental footprint. Key to this strategy, Legs On The Wall are standing in solidarity with Seed – Australia’s Indigenous Youth Climate Network.
Sydney Opera House Talks and Ideas will host Enough Talk – a soapbox series where leading thinkers and activists join registered members of the public to have their say on climate change action.
s a beautiful echoing of the THAW performance, audience members will be gifted a small ice cube that melts away to reveal a personalized call to action, suggesting pragmatic actions each person can take to combat climate change.
“It was important to us that we went beyond the spectacle of performance with THAW,” said Thomson. “This show is a moment for us to explore things on a deeper level and encourage people to think about the part they can play in bringing about positive change.”
Audience members who can’t make it to the show and lovers of Slow TV can tune in to THAW Cam for the entire 10 hour performance livestreamed on Sydney Opera House Stream platform and as part of Sydney Festival’s At Home digital program.
Western Broadwalk – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
Performances: 14 – 16 January 2022 (10.00am – 8.30pm)
For more information, visit: www.thaw.org.au for details.
Image: Legs On The Wall presents THAW – photo by Shane Rozario