Needles have a history stretching back some sixty thousand years, appearing in multiple cultures. Before they gained what are now described as ’eyes’ for the thread it was used more akin to a piercing tool. The evolution of clothing was not a single event…But tools to make clothing have remained similar in principle to those from thousands of years ago.
The perforations I make with my needle are clothing I make for the body in space.
I remember the feeling of running, swinging, hurling myself off the climbing frame into the void, clinging onto the knot on the rope-swing. At the top of the spin, through the arc, I feel exhilaration and terror. I can fly, held by thread, a spinning pendulum.
Do pendulums still behave in the new normal? Is the earth still spinning on the same axis right now?
It has been a year of watching pendulums swinging, recording facts we never wanted to know…how many people have died; how much longer is quarantine; how soon will we get a vaccine….?
I let go of the knot to avoid crashing into the tree from which the rope is suspended.
I’ve been making a series originally sparked by the visual of flying like a bat…. could I make sense of navigation through echolocating…. Its some of what I have been working on this year, part of my ongoing investigation of how I think about being tethered to, or severed from the narrative.
It is, of course, about more than bats. There is a strangeness to working on tiny dots perforating the body during a global pandemic. What gets in and out of the body has revealed a meaning to everyone in a specific way – one that heightened our fear of touch, breath and space. Here’s ‘MY’ bit of space. Here’s ‘MY’ breath. The psychological ramifications of this are broad, but as we are still ‘in’ it, we can’t even begin to conceptualise it.
I have a huge interest in the use of the phrase “Porous Body” – it comes from early medical thinking stretching back through Galen. The two-way transmission, what comes out and what gets into the body, through the skin, resonates at higher or lower frequencies depending on our relationship to illness and how we treat the body which is sick.
When I puncture the surface of the photograph, it’s about the puncturing of the skin, the membrane that separates bodies and space, bodies and bodies. The slippery-ness of the photograph, and all that it stands for, is circumnavigated with my needle.