Fari Bradley discusses shamanism, ‘beast visions’, social change and social cleansing with prolific artist Marcus Coates. Coates consulted with locals and developers alike to devise a shamanic intervention into the regeneration of Elephant & Castle and its Heygate Estate.
Coates’ interactions with the amazing array of characters around the Elephant and Castle culminated in a vision-ritual performance with 16 piece disco-Prog group Chrome Hoof at the iconic Coronet theatre.
The subsequent documentary film Vision Quest: A Ritual for Elephant & Castle was screened in an empty shopping unit in the centre, long-since marked for demolition along with the estates and areas around them. “I asked them how would you represent this place in terms of an animal? […] The council were amazing actually, the way they co-operated with the process […] You don’t actually see this in the film, but afterwards I asked them to envisage in a very personal way what their personal vision was, ’cause you have corporate vision and these scripted visions but I wanted them to invest in their own personal vision of what the Elephant could be. ” said Coates “.”