Level Playing Field

Christchurch, New Zealand
Curated by
David Cross

Level Playing Field is both an inflatable sport and temporary public artwork commissioned for Scape 7 Public Art, Christchurch, New Zealand in 2013.

The work challenges teams of 6 players to compete against each other both on top of and inside of, a custom designed inflatable field. Players in the attacking team take turns to run across the surface of the unstable inflated field and dive through a slot, rugby-style, to score a point. The defending team, meanwhile, is underneath the playing surface pulling on ropes to manipulate the fields surface and subsequently to make it difficult for the opposition to dive and score a point. Importantly, the two teams cannot see each other and are forced to rely on instinct and cunning in a game of physical and mental anticipation. The work references the unstable ground of Christchurch following the devastating earthquakes post-2010 and invites participants to attempt to negotiate and overcome adversity while displaying athletic prowess.