Monday, 23 April 2012

Bathroom Series

This series came about from two sources. One was a photograph by Francesca Woodman simply titled Bath. Its calm and beautiful while at the same time has a sense of unease. The bath can be read like the safe warm waters of the womb, or as a container much like a coffin. This duality interested me. The other source was my fascination with water and myths about mermaids. Mermaids are split creatures, one moment they are beautiful and alluring, the next they are dangerous and deceptive. 

I was also thinking about the amount of time spent in a bathroom, the processes that go on there, the beautification, the mastery of such skills. The word 'Glamour' means to disguise, or appear. Appearance or rather fixation on appearance has played a big part in my work. Mermaids typify the value we place on appearance. Yet they are mysterious, who knows what they get up to and where they go. The tricks that take place in the bathroom are far less mysterious, they are down right laborious and boring.

It occurred to me, what if a mysterious and vicious mermaid was plucked from her mythical realm and plopped in to an everyday urban bathroom. How would she feel?  

A Red Day - Tell Me

'A Red Day' performed at Fun-A-Day Dundee

On Friday the 24th of February I had the pleasure of performing with some fellow artists in a piece I titled A Red Day. The inspiration for the piece came from the fairytale the Red Shoes. I was particularly interested in the idea of woman's desire as being so powerful it is all consuming. The first performer applies some red lipstick and she cannot stop the dirty words spilling out her mouth, the second is drawn to a set of red gloves that end up squeezing and pulling at her hair and body, the third seems trapped in a nightmare as her feet just keep tapping away in sparkling red shoes. All the while a violin is played to highlight their experiences.

 It was showcased at Dundee's first ever Fun-A-Day exhibition and was a great experience. Our audience were caught between discomfort and laughter, exactly what I had hoped for. It was a short performance which I then picked my favourite elements of and morphed in to a film called Tell Me.

I kept the motif of the red lipstick and the word spilling but this time it was four different women wearing red and speaking their minds. It is not completely clear what each individual is talking about but the subtle facial movements and tones do reveal an over all sentiment. The film is playful and I hope provides a few gawps and chuckles.


This is the final piece which I titled 'Tell Me'.

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Pond Stills


The Pond started off as an idea for a short performance. I have a small pond in my garden and I spend a lot of time there, thinking, dreaming, singing away to myself. I maintain it by scooping out the algae and keeping it clean and healthy for frogs and plant life. Yet for the past two years the frog spawn keeps disappearing. This bothered me more than it probably should have, something had come and stolen or eaten them. I wanted to explore this idea of the little pond, its capacity for life and other mysteries. My performance artist Ladina was more than happy to get her hands dirty and experience some of my frantic despair searching through the pond for traces of life.

These are some shots from the film, photographed by Ana Molina Lopez and performed by Ladina Zimmermann. The film is still in the editing process and I will feature it later.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Dressing Up

For this film I wanted to explore ideas about veiling in connection with make up and jewellery. I love to dress up, and I collect many pretty shiny things. However, they often end up as decoration for the house rather than my body. I often visualyse the fancy parties I would wear them to or what kind of character I would like to be for that night. I am continuing the veiling theme in my work and adding this notion of covering or masking with make up and adornments. This film takes this idea to is furthest point, as I cover myself with every piece of jewellery and decoration that I own, meanwhile singing Keep Young and Beautiful which I find personally a particularly haunting song and if you pay attention to the lyrics its also rather cruel.

I'm including the link to the original version of the song just so you can get an idea of what spurred me on:-

Make Up Tips

Make Up Tips is probably my favourite out of the films I made in Third Year at DJCAD. I had the notion after I started to look at the cotton pads I used to take my make up off, they had a perfect little print of my mascara. As I started to collect more I turned them in to an animation. I thought about my make up rituals of application and removal and I liked the remnants left on the cotton pads. They tell a story, and so I told a story. The voice over is me recounting facts and quotes about make up processes which came from numerous sources and conversations I have heard, from my mother, grandmother, and due to spending 3 years as a make up consultant, many women in the cosmetics business.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Engendering Dialogue II: Seeing Things Differently 30/31 March 2012

Engendering Dialogues was a recent conference I had the pleasure of attending as well as being the photographer. It took place at the DCA in Dundee for two days. Full of interesting and inspiring talks from writers and thinkers such as Christine Battersby, Tina Chanter and Kerstin Mey and an excellent exhibition from artists Beth Fisher, Ingrid Pollard and Gina Wall.

The aim of the conference was to bring together talented women from the differing fields of art and philosophy and see what new and interesting things they had to say. The two days covered topics from obscenity, architecture, the f-word, mother/daughter twinning, self and Other, as well as rethinking the female body in art. It was a great success and my only complaint would be that we simply didn't have long enough to explore all of those ideas in two days. We are not quite super-women yet!