Using clothing and ritual in my first performance Man Created the Word in 1999, I worked through three characters, in what I thought of as a ’ritualized shedding of personae’. These were all characters I felt I had in my own life, performed, and experienced in my own life. I started in full water-proofs gutting fish (man as ‘fishers of men’, with power over all living things), then peeling off the waterproofs to reveal a man’s pinstriped suit, reading of patriarchal repression, I typed and read from the bible:
‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him;… and the word, the word was with God’.
Connecting the a moment in history where men took control of language and ‘creation’, I peeled off the suit to reveal a wedding dress. Putting on high heels and an apron, I crafted a baby out of lard. A messy, smelly performance which revealed bitterness at a culture that gives only lip service to women for the role they play in creating life and mothering, whilst patriarchy and power remain in the hands of men through the control of word and image.