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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.

At its instigation the project was deeply personal, to give myself the time and space to address the legacy of trauma from my childhood. Through drawing I attempted to capture the past, fragments of memories, childhood experiences, barely understood bodily feelings and bring them into a form that I could address in the present.

Over time the small autobiographical drawings became life-sized figures that I call embodiments. Once cut out and stood upright, they appeared to have their own agency and to speak their own narratives. It became clear to me 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 and through a series of exchanges, attempt to attune to and communicate with their paper figure and form a ‘telepathic’ connection. To ask the embodiment who they were, what they might feel and to ‘hear’ what they had to say. My role was to witness, support, and keep a safe, confidential space for the participants.

It was important that the embodiments were not used as props or extensions of the human participants. They were to be regarded as having 'life', albeit of a different order. They had their own agency and their boundaries were respected.

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.

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)