Joe Rush, founder of the Mutoid Waste Company whose sculptures have helped shape Glastonbury over the years, has transformed the Ballroom into a fantastical “Theatre of Waste”. Complete with stage and sculptures recycled from salvaged material including F15 bombers and Soviet tanks. It is where the dramas, tragedies, farces and ballets of the scrap pile’s imaginary world are played out using sound and lighting.
The scrap heap is where Rush accidentally discovers his characters. Among these metal fragments, he recognises the bodies and faces that have become the heroines and heroes of his ‘Theatre of Waste’.
Throughout the Ballroom these playlets – “Brothers in Arms”, “Joan (Jeanne)”, “The Little Dancer”, “L’Etoile”, “In Flanders Fields”, “…It Tolls for Thee”, “The Last Ape” – each staged in its own theatre, deal extinction, but also boxing and the phantasmagorical worlds of the jungle and the deep sea.
In the centre of the Ballroom, an empty fisherman’s boat, defying the laws of gravity, floats eternally above a pile of bones belonging to those who set sail to escape war, hunger and misery in plundered and ravaged countries. Those who left and never arrived.