Pier to Pier

Greig Burgoyne

2018 Place Pleasure Ground

Invited artist Greig Burgoyne (Hastings, East Sussex) linked together the pier spaces of Hastings pier with the site of Portobello pier with a series of performative walking based events as part of our 2018 Pleasure Ground programme.

Pier to pier is a participatory performance, a meeting of one space that is lost and another which is very much in existence. In this case it is the melding of the circumference of Portobello pier (in the form of 129 Metres of elastic chord) which once stood on this site, and the walking of the length / breadths dimensions from one end to the other of the prize winning pier at Hastings on the Sussex coast. 

Burgoyne films his footsteps walking form one side to the Hastings pier to the other. Of the 15 unique films that result, the participants are each given one recording to follow as a video on their mobile phones. In turn, they lead the rest of the group; the spaces both lost and present expand and contract, as a mobile architectural dance of sorts ensues.

After each participant has led the other members of the space, they leave the elastic space, until there is only two left, then one.

Paradoxically, only by keeping a distance from each other can the shifting, drawn space exist.

In the case of the final two participants, keeping the chord off the sand and maintaining that lost/present space may appear more like a tug of war than a situation of cooperation and togetherness, a manifestation perhaps of being between here and never there.

Pier Dig

Pier Dig set out to move an area of sand relative to the pier that once stood on the site at Portobello. Starting at low tide, battling with an incoming tide in due course, the area of sand is dug, moved and until the sand/ space moved is lost amongst the sand/ space it is already in the midst of. In an absurd act of endurance by reiterating its position in time and space, the pier is dispersed and paradoxically lost in space.

[ below ] 2-page spread from Art Walk Porty ‘Pleasure Ground’ newspaper accompanying Burgoyne’s Pier Dig Portobello Beach (2018) – an interactive walking/drawing game

The project received reviews at The skinny; Phil miller Arts Correspondent Glasgow Herald  and was featured on The afternoon show hosted by Grant Stott, BBC Radio Scotland with Doug Johnstone in conversation with curator, Rosy Naylor.