Cultured Vandals, affectionately known as 'We Came To Take Your Jobs away',was the brainchild of Polona Dolzan, an artist with a theatre design background. She organised a group of us from the Royal College to return to her home town of Celje in Slovenia as a protest against the 'brain drain' that the Baltic states have witnessed since joining the E.U. Much of the great creative and academic talent, not supported well enough at home, leaves for other countries where patronage of the arts is a higher priority.
Polona wanted to see what happened when she reversed the trend. In September 2007 we arrived. We had been invited to work in the medieval castle, buildt on Roman foundations, which forms the centrepiece of the town.
The castle was in the process of being restored, but in a very different way to English Heritage/National Trust methods. Poured concrete floors had been added, and then holes cut through the floors, to allow for building materials to be winched up. We were given free rein.
I discovered a replica of a marble statue of the Roman emperor Hadrian, which had been uncovered hiding in the foundations of the basement of the building, and became taken with the idea. The statue was headless and squeezed in an alcove underneath a shelf. I began thinking about Hadrian's symbolism to the British - that big wall - and the way that Slovenia had undergone so many changes in borderlines and territory. As an island we are used to the shape of our country remaining constant, not the case in Slovenia, which has been 'lower Austria' and Czechoslovakia as well as itself over the last 100 years.
I made a film using footage shot in the castle, using formal constructs and constraints to explore ideas of tension and harmony at boundary points and edges.