L’Altro Lato (The Other Side)

Italy, 1990

Bussana Vecchia
Presented by Laboratorio Aperto
Soundtrack for the opening event written and performed by Francis Shaw

This was Ackroyd & Harvey’s first collaboration together. The site was a hilltop medieval village, Bussana Vecchia, in the Liguria region of Italy. The village was devastated by an earthquake in 1887 and left abandoned.

In the 1950s the army moved in and evicted the small itinerant population of the village. Throughout the sixties the village attracted a growing community of international artists who began rebuilding and restoring the properties.

Dan Harvey’s family became involved with the village from 1968, renovating the large vaulted- ceiling property inhabited by the artists in the summer of 1990. The intention established between Ackroyd & Harvey from early meetings was a desire to create an interior ‘living’ space – to grow grass vertically up the walls of a room.

Whilst in residence in this growing room, other sculptures were created and the installation culminated in a small performance documented by the artists. The chance discovery of a pale yellow shadow left by a ladder placed against a grass wall alerted Ackroyd & Harvey to light sensitivity of grass, and suggested the possibility of imprinting images into grass.