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“Inner temporality rarely follows the logic of chronology … [it] moves within more multilayered and multidirectional topologies – folding and unfolding from the moment to full extension, winding and unwinding from fast to slow, conflating past and present into one perception, or uncoiling into the distant future with gliding ease.”
Eva Hoffman, Time (2011)

Embodiment (2023), is a work comprising free-standing paper figures (embodiments), performance and moving image.

In 2017 I began a very personal project, to attempt to exorcise the legacy of a difficult childhood through the act of drawing. Initially the drawings were small but as time went on they became life sized figures that I called 'embodiments'. Folded into each were fragments of memories, bodily feelings and emotions. I cut out the paper figures so that they could stand before me.

I was surprised that they seemed to have agency and to speak their own narratives, quite apart from my own. It became clear that they should be untethered from my past.

In 2022 I invited five members of Three Score Dance, Brighton to come to my studio and choose the embodiment they felt drawn to. They were told that the embodiments were ‘real’ but of a different order of experience. Although they could not move or speak they might be able to feel touch and hear voices. They were not to be used as props or extensions of the human participants and that both human and paper body retained their integrity. Through a series of exchanges the participants were asked to attune to their paper 'embodiment' and form a ‘telepathic’ connection. To ‘hear’ what they had to say. My role was to witness and support.

The participants each bought their own humanity, showing kindness and compassion, anger, irritation and sadness, questioning and listening. As the participants took in their paper embodiment, it simultaneously drew out from them memories, experiences and emotions. As I stood and watched I found myself strangely consoled. What had started out as an internally focused project had shifted and re-formed outside of myself into a triangle of exchange and empathy between the participants, the embodiment and myself. The growth of communal feeling, the folding and unfolding of time between a group of individuals, is at the centre of the work.

With permission of the human participants it was decided to film the final exchanges. The trailer of the exchanges can be seen on the next page.

Images from the filmed exchanges between human and embodiment

Annie with Gloria_1

Gloria & Anne (Anne Rosenfeld)

Michael&BigDaddy_2_Nov 22

Big Daddy & Michael (Michael Munday)


Betty & Maya (Maya Cockburn)

Gill listening

Wrestler & Gill (Gill Lipson)

Flying Mother 2_lighter

Mother & Penny (Penny Dyer)