Victoria Ginn

The Spirited Earth:
Dance, Myth and Ritual from South Asia to the South Pacific

Exhibition Review:
".....'The Spirited Earth: Dance, Myth and Ritual from South Asia to the South Pacific' is an exhibition selected from a large suite of work of the same name taken between 1984 and 1990, and published in book form in 1990 (Rizzoli, New York).......Ginn presents us with a powerful frieze of signs and symbols, telling one universal intercultural story - a sweep  of colourful pageantry and pantomime across cultures. My two year-old child was entranced, moving from image to image as if they were horses on a carousel.......



Be it performance representation of the pyschic vampires of Bali or the one-eyed, one-legged giants of Indonesia, 'The Spirited Earth' encourages us to celebrate the dance of life and death across cultures, within which we touch the spiritual realm. There is a communion to be had in a gallery like this, where we join in ourselves as performers - an experience that cannot be provided by coffee table books. "
Edited Review.
Reviewer: Mark Amery.
The Dominion Post.
May 2004


[Above] The leyaks, or psychic vampires, are the most fearsome of Balinese beings. Diseased in spirit, they are living people who have allied themselves to the forces of evil by deliberately reversing the positive energies of the psyche. They are known to meet at crossroads and in cemeteries, where they perform rituals enabling them to become changelings, such as animals or ghouls. Their identity hidden, they seek out those fatigued by emotional strain – as from bereavement – and attack these people, draining them of their remaining life force. The stage performance, which gives theatrical form to the creatures, is based on the sixteenth century legend of Rangda the witch widow and devotee of the dark goddess, Durga. The character portrayed here is Creluluk, the ‘prime minister’ of Rangda’s legion of leyaks.

    Bali, Indonesia