Peter England on Set Design: Boomerang

In the course of a life an individual will encounter, embrace, collide with or dodge the contradictions between ancient traditional and modern western cultures. This struggle often leaves wounds, but can also develop strength of skin. The idea of skin and all its collected scars of experience struck me as a potent visual metaphor for the stories in Boomerang. The traditional practice of scarring the skin of men to signify degrees of maturity is at once rich with the ideas of knowledge and of physical existence. It is a declaration of the sacred in the life of experience; simultaneously vulnerable and yet powerful. These are the inspirations for the red wall; it is landscape, it is flesh. It is time and knowledge, it is individual and yet of the Clan. It is place and history.

This land, this flesh, is brought to life with water, with blood. The pool of water is elemental sustenance, life and nurture. Like earth it gives and receives life, as mother and grave. The place is in harmony when the elements are bound, the energy between both is vital. Extracting the earth from the water is to remove it from its ancient and sacred place, causing disruption and pain. So it is for people extracted from their spiritual home; suffering dislocation and despair to become lonely distorted reflections.

These are some of the thoughts I had whilst designing the set for Boomerang. But more importantly my aim is to create a performance space which allows each audience member to enjoy and be inspired in their own way by the stories danced for them tonight.

Peter England
Set Designer


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