Double-Void, durational performance and installation, Newlyn Art Gallery, December 2001
In 2001 I created a performance and installation that combined live action with documentation of previous performative actions. This was a way of combining media to produce time-based works which enunciated the lived reality of women and mothers.
The central concept or action was durational walking a circle and dragging a bag of lard, whose weight corresponded with the weight of my child at that time. Changing as the child grows, this action is a metaphor for the physical, psychological and cultural ‘burden’ of childbearing and rearing which women are expected to bear.
The maternal round was re-created by a durational performance of dragging a hessian sack filled with lard corresponding to the weight of my youngest son around a circle in the gallery all day. An infuriatingly repetitive sound loop of my son’s first word ‘bag’! playing in the background. Three video screens showed previous performances of the same action.
This repetitive performed act combined with time-based installations was also used in a series of works that explore mother’s lived experience through physical engagement with the void of motherhood in representation and culture. These works are collaged to create layers of time and repetition in order to re-present the burden and isolation of motherhood.
Burden, (The Works studios, B’ham, 1998) drag a sack of lard which corresponds to the weight of my child (40lbs) round a small chalk circle 9 times
Double-Void (Newlyn Art Gallery, 2001) drag a sack of lard which corresponds to the weight of my child (60lbs) round a large circle for 6 hours in public indoor space.
Double-Burden ( Leyden Gallery, 2017), carry drag a suitcase and a sack of lard, stopping only to share stories, for 3 hours, create a lard baby and sing lullabies to it.
Visual ‘positionality’ (Braidotti R., and Grosz, E) and movement between time, site and metaphor can create new representations that make it possible to discursively represent Mother.