Handbag Readings was performed at Provisional Newlyn (2005), Truck Festival (2007), ON-SITE festival (2010), All Night Cabaret, St Ives School of Painting (2011), Women’s International Cabaret, Acorn Theatre, (March 2012).
Adopting the character of failed palm reader Madame Marina Sac-a-mano, I offered to ‘read’ handbags, manbags, or contents of pockets. What can the objects that we choose to carry about with us, tell us about ourselves, our present, our past, even our future….?
Sac-a-mano is an extreme, fictitious caricature. She is a parody unable to maintain the pretence, slipping between reality and fiction. This intentional slippage between the character and the artist plays with performativity and with masquerade. Creating dialogue and interactions with the public, Sac-a-Mano’s appearance was made only in a couple of differentiated time and places as unrepeatable and unrepresentable acts.
Whilst intentionally humorous, dealing with peoples’ things is a delicate, and private transaction. Publicly exploring what people own, why, and what it might say about them, had currency with a body of work in which I explore the relationship between people and things. What do the objects we choose, and value say about us? What are the deeper psychological meanings and messages about ‘our’ objects? Are they merely transitional or comforting, or do they constitute who and what we are?