2-channel HD video, 5.1 channel audio, 10.5 minutes, 2011
The mass movement of sheep, cattle and horses can be at times highly unpredictable and chaotic, or surprisingly ordered, with periods of intensification and periods of slowness.
The Way You Move Me is a two-channel video installation created by Leber and Chesworth during an IASKA/Spaced residency. It follows the movements of sheep and cattle across the Western Australian wheatbelt, capturing the internal dynamics and rhythmic ebbs and flows of herds. These shifting lines and shapes are accompanied by a wordless soundscape that both mimics and enhances this sense of motion. At this juncture of chaos and order is an examination of the forces and connections that exist between humans and animals.
Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne (2012), Spaced: Art Out of Place, Fremantle Arts Centre (2012), Animal/Human, UQ Art Museum, Brisbane (2012), The Social Life of Things, Faculty Gallery, Monash University (2012), Animal Ark, Art Gallery of Western Australia (2014). Art Gallery of Western Australia collection.
The artists gratefully acknowledge the support of IASKA, Pennie Aitken, Moora Fine Arts Society and the participants from Moora and environs who agreed to be videotaped while working with their animals.
'Commissioned as part of an IASKA residency program pairing artists with remote Western Australian communities, Leber and Chesworth's latest work, The Way You Move Me, traces the subtleties, complexities and rhythms implicit in the mass-movement of cattle and sheep across the vast farming properties...
'The installation...offers a macro depiction and micro deconstruction of the energies, flows and forces at play in and around the herd or flock. It's a sensation the video work explores to visceral effect. Via a montage of intermittent long shots and close-ups and atmospheric and proximate - or as Chesworth puts it, "psychological" - sound, The Way You Move Me counterpoints the distant thundering of hooves and the amorphous throng of animals with sound and vision from deep within the herd, individual protagonists, mothers and calves pulling, shunting and shaping the composition of the herd as they bustle by.'
- Dan Rule, The Age, Melbourne, March 7, 2012
'Leber and Chesworth created the work through a series of removals, honing and refinement...The sound design in particular creates a composed environment, with human calls largely removed. We are witnessing the actions not through a human lens, but a constructed, synthesised viewpoint... In the absence of fencing and human physical constructs we are drawn to the pattern, logic and language of crowd behaviour.'
- Jared Davis, 'Circle Work' in Spaced: Art Out of Place exhibition catalogue, IASKA, 2012
'The experience is mesmerising... Moments of intensity, changing rhythms and gaits, are interspersed with personal, almost transcendent moments of interspecies connection.'
- Sarah Miller, RealTime No.108 April-May 2012
'The other stand-out work in Spaced is a video installation by Melbourne artists Sonia Leber and David Chesworth, of cows and sheep being herded through the country by dogs and men. There is something completely riveting about these scenes and the sound environment that the artists have created around them.'
- Darren Jorgensen, The West Australian, 25 Feb 2012