Philomena

Overview

The Philomel project is singular in my production in that it started with drawing rather than with writing or audio recording and has not yet found its live performance or installed form, though sequences of it are being exhibited as performance drawings. Gesture by gesture, sequence by sequence, showing after showing I work it out. From the start, I have imagined this project as an aria for a woven female voice. Female voice woven into noise. Female voice trailing its noise. Noise that reveals a voice and its voicing. One can sing but one cannot speak without a tongue. Once torn from articulacy one must look for another way to speak. The work is both sounding and sounded, live and recorded/installed,  because it is this second aspect, which carries the trail of the voice and helps generate a new language. It is its hope, its resourcefulness, its revealed strength.

The piece is based on an Ovidian metamorphic tale and it is violent, as they often are.  The Athenian princess Philomel (Philomena in the Old French version, Philomela in the Chaucer translation) is raped by her brother-in-law and has her tongue cut off with a knife so that she cannot tell the tale and reveal her perpetrator. In the sequence shown here, the attention is on the brutal point of cut, on the violent tearing from speech and articulacy, on the uttered cry.

Philomel: Aria for woven voice

2014

Philomela (line 2328)

Ink on rag paper, 430 x 620mm.

Philomela (line 2328)

Ink on rag paper, 430 x 620mm.

Philomela (line 2328)

Ink on rag paper, 430 x 620mm.

Exploded House

2011

Exploded House 1

Gesso on rag paper , 260 x 360mm.

Exploded House 2

Gesso on rag paper , 260 x 360mm.

Exploded House 3

Gesso on rag paper , 260 x 360mm.

Exploded House 4

Gesso on rag paper , 260 x 360mm.