Emily Orley

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Where Once There Was


A performance installation with Katja Hilevaara. Sound by Diane Le Prevost, Maryjane Orley and Martin Purvis.


Part of Hors dé Saisaon| Out of Season, a group show at the Old Northbrook Nursery, St Sampsons, Guernsey, 1-16 September 2018.  Funded by the Guernsey Arts Commission.

Inspired by one of David Falla’s many work journals, we built a temporary structure to honour a disappeared building and family business. In time to the rhythm of his words, we paid homage to the changing face of the Guernsey growing industry and the work that took place on the Northbrook site from 1955 until Falla’s death in 2013. For our performance, we marked out where the central aisle of one of the vinery greenhouses with metal objects found on the site, and wove string around them to suggest a corridor of activity. 


Where once a busy passageway existed, there is now a section of empty field. We wanted to remember and celebrate the place where once workers bustled up and down, sowing, watering, spraying, fertilising, weeding and thinning-out. Where small acts of patience and careful attention happened day after day and year after year. We aimed to memorialise those acts of daily maintenance of which there are now no trace, accompanied by the sound of Diane Le Prevost reading three months' worth of entries from one of her father’s work journals.