By Abigail Conway with Ross Flight and oenothera biennis
Interactive installation by day, concert at night.
An evening with primrose is a concert and interactive installation which invites us to step away from our constant attempts to create our lives on demand and surrender to the simple act of waiting.
Unfolding over 60-90 minutes, An evening with Primrose is a concert featuring a unique soundscape created by an Evening Primrose flower blooming: an act that cannot be forced, being entirely determined by circadian rhythms: the internal clock that affects all plants and animals.
Created by Abigail Conway and sound designer Ross Flight, An evening with Primrose is inspired by the Evening Primrose as a symbol of the inescapable influence of nature's power over us all, despite our best attempts to control it.
An evening with Primrose is an interactive installation by day that invites audiences to learn about the anatomy of a plant as well as the technology behind creating a soundscape from a blooming flower; and in doing so rethink their relationship with time. And by night, the installation becomes a performance; a concert in which a flower is the performer at centre stage and a sound interface its instrument.
Combining animated illustrations, video and sound An evening with Primrose is a visual and sonic meditation on time, and the biological clocks that affect us all. All you have to do is wait.
Written & Directed by Abigail Conway
Sound and Interactive system design: Ross Flight
Illustration and animation: Eoin Ryan
Special Guests: Will Dickie & Sarah Johns
Set Construction: Tin Shed Scenery
Producer: Sally Rose
Active Research: the question of time has always been at play somewhere within the interactive projects Abigail has made. Time pressures have been explored within durational work, and individual time perspectives have been examined in terms of how audiences ‘play’ and lose track of time within the interactive, task-based installations she makes.
An evening with primrose invites us to surrender to the act of waiting. The project references natural recordings of time. The flower clock by 18-century botanist Carl Linnaeus, is a particular inspiration. Abigail’s current active research is around the biological exploration of circadian rhythms, in both plants and humans.
In 2017, an evening with Primrose premiered at Brighton Digital Festival. In 2016 the team spent two weeks of research and development at Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts (ACCA), and created a scratch performance of the development which can be seen below.
Supported by University of Chichester, developed at & supported by Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts, with thanks to The Spire, the National Theatre Studio, Dominic Baker & Oliver Levett, Soraya Gilanni, Deborah Pearson & Melanie Wilson. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.