Art performance in Lewes ditches debts by setting fire to them

Where do you draw the line: Xelis de Toro hauls his chalk boulder
Where do you draw the line: Xelis de Toro hauls his chalk boulder

A reading and burning of a Lewes ‘book of debts’ provided a spectacular finale to Future Dreaming, the multi-media art project created by Lewes-based international artist Guyan Porter.

Artist Alinah Azadeh, who is also based in Lewes, was helped in the reading of nearly 100 financial or emotional debts by 10 local people.

The moving stories of debt included that of a young woman who was severely burned on 40 per cent of her body and was helped to live again by her loving boyfriend, and a former financial salesman who was deeply sorry he had conned his clients.

After the book had been read on the site of the recent Phoenix Theatre and Studios blaze, the Lewes Book of Debt was burned on Sunday.

Alinah said: “It has been amazing to do this in my home town and on this site where the studios were.”

As part of the Future Dreaming exhibition on Saturday, Brighton-based artist Xelis de Toro pulled a large stone around the centre of Lewes, leaving a two-mile long chalk line. Xelis said: “Hundreds of Lewes people took part, watching or following the line to catch up with me.”

Guyan said of the exhibition at The Foundry Studio: “It has been a great success – fantastic! The works are provocative and moving and there’s been great support. More than a 1,000 people have visited the events and there has been great interest online.”