Digital, Moving Image
…And now for the sun in the heavens takes its name from a juggling trick mentioned in an ancient French folk story (retold as The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola in 1978) about an old clown who has dedicated his life to entertaining and bringing laughter to families, belonging nowhere but fondly remembered everywhere he travelled.
Centred around transformational aspects of performance, character and costume, the subject of this work draws on one of theatres oldest tropes: the clown– contextualising the human aspects of this character through attentively capturing the transformation from man into character.
The slowness and meditative nature of this short-film by Amber Cronin, captured by cinematographer Ben Golotta (Repeater Productions), highlights the ritual of transformation that is integral to theatre and performance but also life more generally.
Set inside a car, the artist’s father, a career artist and professional clown, now a man in his seventies, methodically builds layers of makeup to complete his costume, the evening light and the close-up framing draw the viewer into an intimate moment that speaks of personal memory. A deep, ragged melancholy and the the softened, sentimental nature of this short video work gifts us an insight to the everyday realities of artists. It is an intimate tableau that allows the viewer to step behind the illusory veil of transformation characteristic to performance.
Amber Cronin is an emerging cross-disciplinary artist living and working on Kaurna Yerta (Adelaide, South Australia). Situated amongst an ecology of research that includes sculpture, plants, soil, textiles, sound, video and performance, her practice gathers people, objects and matter in combinations that facilitate meditations on connection and discovery.
Developed over extended periods through conversations and collaboration, Cronin’s work collects and expounds on the sensory qualities of everyday actions, reframing them as participatory sites of ritual activity.
Born out of an oscillation between global phenomena and intimate encounters, her recent work finds its genesis in the complex politics of the ecological crisis– art as means of contemplation– as a means of survival, that allows us to enter a shared dimension with ourselves and the more-than-human.
Amber’s practice operates as an ecology between studio work, gallery presentation, research, facilitation and engaged community projects. Alongside her own practice, Amber freelances as a program curator for organisations and festivals including South Australia’s Nature Festival, Papershell Farm and developing independent artist led research projects. She was an Australia Council Future Leader 2019-2020 and remains active in the alumni network. Amber completed honours (Visual Arts / first class) in 2020. She advocates and lobbies with peak industry bodies and artist-led groups. She facilitates workshops and research projects. The relationships fostered through these roles are foundational to her relational arts practice.
Amber is a passionate advocate for the arts and her socially engaged practice leads her to work within communities with deep consideration for the value that art and artists brings to society.
Ben Golotta (DOP)
Ben is an Adelaide based Director, Producer. Establishing himself as one of South Australia’s up and coming producers, he has spent the past 6 years growing local film company Repeater Productions and in doing so has been acclaimed with award winning short films, documentaries, commercial work and exhibitions. Ben not only directed his debut short film, but has also begun pre-production on his first feature documentary, Winter Herd. Ben’s passion for film extends to a drive to develop a growing local creative industry. Creating events and workspaces for filmmakers and creatives to collaborate and work alongside each other. His ambition to grow South Australian talent and help put artists on the map is unlike many others.
Artist and Director: Amber Cronin
DOP: Ben Golotta
Performer: David Cronin
Amber Cronin is a finalist in The Advertiser Contemporary Art Award 2023 for this work.