A block of ice. A crane. Three female performers. Those elements are the key components of one of the events on the Mona Foma program.
THAW, developed by Legs On The Wall artistic director Joshua Thomson, will involve lone aerial artists taking turns performing on top of a sculpted 2.4-tonne block of ice hanging over Launceston's Cataract Gorge.
The piece will be accompanied by atmospheric sound words from Alaskan composer Matthew Burtner.
The concept originated from another piece, Tide, which the creator helped bring to life in 2017 with a Queensland company. Thomson has always been affected by - and attached to - the environment.
"In 2019 when the bushfires happened, it was a strange feeling. I felt really alone and angry. I felt I couldn't do anything," he said.
"I thought about how I could take this and what I could do."
When Thomson started thinking about fire, he thought about its counterpart in ice and then how he could use it to represent something constantly disappearing.
"I thought about our natural shrinking resources, and particularly the natural world and how it is ever-shrinking," he said.
As the idea grew, Thomson realised he wanted to make the project uniquely a Legs On The Wall piece by researching whether it was possible to lift ice into the air and have it stay there.
"We went to a lot of engineers and we did a lot of research. Every bit of feedback was no, it's not possible ... which only spurred me on," he said.
"[As far as I'm aware], a piece of ice this size has never been suspended without some sort of skeleton structure."
Thomson liked the idea of having the work suspended above people like it was a jewel in a national museum.
"I'm always up for people to take what they want ... but at the same time I don't like to shirk responsibility on the audience member," he said.
Thomson said the biggest message in the work was the idea of coming together and breaking down cultural and geographical borders, with the three performers taking turns on the ice each from different cultural backgrounds.
"I think only coming together can we really make an impact and shift or neutralise this ever-growing concern [of climate change] we face," he said.
The work itself is extreme for the performers involved, and they are going through intense training to be ready for the event.
"I just can't wait to see [THAW] in the gorge, sitting at its natural habitat," Thomson said.
THAW will be at Cataract Gorgefrom January 21-23.
Mona Foma will drop the rest of the program at 10am on December 3.
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