36 year-old artist Antonia Wright is turning heads with her unique brand of extreme, stunt style performance art. Some of her past works include her meditating while covered in 15,000 bees, and slingshotting her naked body through a glass like ceiling. She has breathlessly puffed on a cigar to the point of nausea, and once rolled around naked on a grimy Miami street.
Most of Antonia’s work involves using her body and experience as both medium and subject matter. Another ongoing project of hers is called “Are you okay?”. Here, she stands on street corners in different cities all over the world and cries, filming the reactions of the people that pass her by.
“My work is founded on a deep political and social consciousness. The pieces are curious actions, questioning their surroundings in an attempt to unveil the bizarre, sad and beautiful… Wondering why we do the things we do.”
Her latest work, titled “Under the water was sand, then rocks, miles of rocks, then fire,” saw Wright reenacting a severe childhood trauma on film.
As a teen, Antonia had a near death experience when she fell through the surface of a frozen lake with a friend. They struggled in the freezing water and eventually succeeded in hauling themselves ashore, but not before suffering severe hypothermia.
20 years later, dressed in red silk to resemble flames, Antonia relived the moment that she describes as intensely traumatic. She described revisiting the moment as healing.
“During the video shoot, when I was submerged in the lake, it was a few of the most peaceful and beautiful seconds of my life.”
In October last year, Antonia exhibited the work in the experimental Miami gallery Locust Projects. Day and night were inverted in the space, where a maze of night jasmine hung from the ceiling. The experience was designed to be totally immersive, engaging the senses and creating a heightened emotional state in audiences. You can watch the clip here.