Endangered Species developed from Siobhan Davies' experiences on the third Cape Farewell voyage to the Arctic in March 2005, and was created for the Cape Farewell exhibition The Art of Climate Change, touring internationally in 2008.
From Siobhan Davies' description of Endangered Species:
On the 2005 voyage, Siobhan Davies found using her body expressively severely limited in nature and range in the sub-zero temperatures of the High Arctic. Her attention centred on her bones, skin, breath; the fragility of her material body versus the effort and basic purpose behind her every movement.
Endangered Species was first shown in the large-scale Cape Farewell exhibition, The Ship: The Art of Climate Change at the Natural History Museum's Jerwood Gallery, the Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool Cathedral, The Place and the Oxford Playhouse.
Back home in London Davies quickly formed the idea for a work that would embody some of the primal emotions and rational thoughts the journey had evoked for her. Working with fashion designer Jonathan Saunders, she created a projection, Endangered Species, in which a small, semi-human figure dances gracefully inside a museum display case, her movements exaggerated by a costume of long bending rods that increase in number as her dance progresses. While at first they liberate her by extending the boundaries of her body, the many rods eventually restrict and finally extinguish her small life form.
With its ever-increasing adornment and subsequent restrictions on expression, the dance points to how increased consumption alongside so-called technological ‘advancement’ is fast becoming more of a hindrance, rather than a help, to the development of our species. The figure put on show in a glass vitrine, re-emphasises the fragility of the dancing form and the need to preserve it. It is presented here as a specimen, a rarity; a branch of the genus Homo sapiens that has either died out or is yet to evolve.
photo: Vicky Long / Marije de Haas
text courtesy of www.siobhandavies.com