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Sonia Hughes . Photo: Soloman Hughes

Pacitti Company

SPILL Festival of Performance 2020

Sonia Hughes has been making art for over 20 years, but you’ve probably never heard of her. She’s a great collaborator (Quarantine, Jeremy Deller, Mem Morrison, ANU productions, Jo Fong) but has rarely taken centre stage.

I am from Reykjavik is her first major foray into making work in the public realm. This ambitious project will design a physical house-like kit structure, which Sonia will then build in public space - with or without the aid of the general public, depending on how passers-by in the street respond to her request for help.

It is an attempt to be a post-racial, global citizen. To claim space by building a temporary dwelling, thereby inviting people to exchange hospitality. To morph roles of host, guest, stranger and consider who will help or object to this hospitality.

It comes from Sonia’s personal tiredness of being asked ‘where are you from, from?’ to which she would like to reply ‘I am from Reykjavik’ and a longing to be welcome anywhere. It comes at a time in the world where borders are being moved and contested, breached and erected and when who is entitled to claim land and citizenship is a hugely vexed question.

This co-commission will be part of the SPILL Festival of Performance 2020, in Ipswich. This evolves a long and meaningful relationship which started in 2009 with the SPILL National Platform and now looks forwards by jointly nurturing this exciting and timely co-commission.

SPILL Festival of Performance 2020 will be between the 28 October and 1 November.