Roberta Sian Graham

Graham published in the colour version invites you to

watch her full length film ''Where Nothing Happens"

Last Summer I had gotten sick of being in London feeling stuck working jobs I didn't like to just about pay my rent. Luckily one of my best friends had been offered a short term job in LA so I decided to go and stay with him and spend the time making my own work. After a few weeks the security of our building in Downtown caught on that I wasn't technically meant to be there and kicked me out. I left my suitcase in LA and caught a greyhound to Big Sur on my own. I spent a month volunteering at The Henry Miller Library and camping on the property. I completely fell in love with the place and the people. I was fascinated by the strength of such a small but sprawling community in contrast with the transience of the huge yet constantly fluctuating tourist presence and both side's interaction with the landscape. I decided I needed to come back and make some work about the experience of Big Sur as an outsider caught between the states of 'local' and 'tourist'.


I wrote a project proposal and worked with the director of the library to create a residency and returned in March of this year. The work is based strongly around the themes of permanence and impermanence which is I feel is strongly reflected in both the landscape and the human interaction with it. Focusing specifically on the idea of memorial in an everyday sense of the word. I wanted to explore the idea of what makes something worth memorialising vs what aspects of the everyday actually define an experience but would go unrecorded and forgotten. 

The culmination of an eleven week residency at the Henry Miller Memorial Library, Big Sur California, the one night experiential Art Installation ‘Nothing Happened’, explored themes of permanence and impermanence. Memorialising Big Sur as it existed to an outsider over March- June 2016, through an immersive evening of art and performance.

Inside the Library surreal collaged landscapes combined with a cacophony of everyday sounds from candid recordings to form whimsically abstract Audio/Visual projections. Creating cherished memories from the banal and everyday. 

The action washed over the fallen branches, driftwood and stone which make up the central memorial pyre; carved, scorched and painted with the trivial yet sincere words of visitors. 

The comic addition of pink scented dog poop bags filled with ash and a confetti of visitors words add an un-natural, human element, ever present in the touristic nature of Big Sur.

Live involvement from local artists and musicians combined with these elements periodically as part of an immersive, celebratory‘happening’ in the place “Where Nothing Happens” 


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