Raw clay Lab
Clay Crush is a participatory performance and installation by Michelle Perrett of 500 unfired clay vessels incorporating themes of cycles of life and healing. The vessels form patterns extended along an existing circular path at Eramboo of cement footpaths, and a wooden bridge-like structure of steps and platform. The small palm-sized vessels are made by pressing clay into a mould to make multiple similar shapes and once dried out and crisp are placed ready for participants who are encouraged to walk slowly barefoot over the vessels along the path. Crushing the raw clay with bare feet induces crumbling sensations underfoot and cracking sounds. Like the ancient ritual of walking across hot coals although the vessels are unfired and crush easily there is a collective anxiety of treading on and breaking china cups or crockery and cutting your feet enhancing a connection with place, earth and environment. Afterwards new patterns are formed by participants from crushing and flattening the vessels that crumble into circular shapes. The clay remnants are later recycled.