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The Body Project Meets ‘Blank Twins’

by James on April 5th, 2012

Kathy Mead Skerritt  ‘I wonder about my little twinner bodies. I wonder how they might come to be and to know. What will be the form of their presence? How will they recognize themselves? What will I see, reflected, in their soon-to-be infilled faces? What is my responsibility for their coming into (and unto) themselves, for their awakening to their raw little bodhisattva bodies flush against the”thingness” of “above” and “below”? Such an obligation, this midwifery of possibility…’

I posted on here before about a fledgling project where I was making cloth figures for friends and colleagues to explore our shared interests as artists, in the relationship between art, embodied/artful learning and ecology, and our more individual focuses on story, space, spirituality, materials, travel, musicals… We wanted to make new work in community with each other, to explore our individual research strands, and the way that they weave, intertwine and support each other.

The following images and quotes are taken from a Facebook group that we use to share our ongoing process of investigation and dialogue, through the vehicle of our sets of ‘Blank Twins’ (one cloth figure each became two).

I was going to try and map the journey that our work together has taken chronologically, but its been a very rich and winding one, so I’ll leave you with some of the fragments of our journey so far, in order that you can find your own way through.

Kathy Mead Skerritt Today, I’m liking “arboreous” and “arborescence”…1. arboreal, arboreous, tree-living
(inhabiting or frequenting trees; “arboreal apes”)… 2. arboraceous, arboreous, woodsy, woody
(abounding in trees; “an arboreous landscape”; “violets in woodsy shady spots”; “a woody area near the highway”)

James Aldridge Arboraceous is a lovely word. I’d like to be described as arboraceous. Dendroidal too… I can visualise an image of roots growing into a brain, or of a body putting down roots… a symbiotic relationship between trees and people.

Kathy Mead Skerritt and down further into the watershed; trees and lake are really a single system…

Jonathan Mansfield Thanks Kathy. I love the idea of the ‘seam’ between Land and Water – it’s a very spiritual notion (particularly during the Iron Age in Europe, that meeting of elements produces all manner of wonder: the Lady of the Lake is a good example)

James Aldridge I was thinking about stitching paper, or stapling it maybe… Rusty staples, muddy stains, writing, posting. Remember the character in the book ‘Flat Stanley’? He was sent through the post…I do have a bit of a thing for postal art, marked/franked/worn by its journeys

Chris Seeley Rusty Staples also sounds like a character…

Kathy Mead Skerritt Ha! Ha! Ha!

Chris Seeley They’re straight in the earth. Mine are heading down that way… soon… but not quite yet… I love the writing and the scuffing

James Aldridge Love these Kathy, remind me of the cocoons of Caddis Fly Larvae – do you get them in the US? They gather objects/materials from where they live and stick them together around their bodies…

Chris Seeley …went walking for a bit in the village. Picked up more wool, some down and rabbit fur with fox spit on it for the twin.

Kathy Mead Skerritt Jonathan, the birds are fabulous! I wonder, as we follow the maps of our bodies or those of the more-than-humans, perhaps we will re-member that there is no difference between the planetary body and all the living form “upon” it…I like the idea of mapping my body visually in some manner relative to the ecosystems with which I engage. For instance, in terms of the practice of phenomenology – knowing a thing from IN it and AS it rather than “objectively” …hmmmm…I may run with this…THANKS, JONATHAN!

James Aldridge Kept one back to do something else to, haven’t quite decided what yet, like the idea of a contrast…
Chris Seeley Writing on the body… Writing (about) the body
Chris Seeley This is still my favourite twins picture so far

James Aldridge Really nice to see that this kind of wearable art is being reconstructed from European archaeological investigations, it adds to our history & heritage in such an exciting way!
Chris Seeley Yes. Its like European indigenous culture has been thoroughly repressed. It is amazing that we, too, once knew in these ways…
James Aldridge I love this image but it unsettles me too… The way the women are posed, native/tribal people’s as curiosities, almost as objects/dolls themselves
Kathy Mead Skerritt I agree. Check out the work of Elizabeth Sunday…her photos of indigenous peoples are shamanic in their aesthetic…
Kathy Mead Skerritt  The Twins-to-Totems introductions continue…
Jonathan Mansfield My ‘Blank Twins’ story is happening, but very slowly. I’m taking my time to listen carefully to my inner thoughts and my ideas of how I’d like my people to interact with my landscape.
Landscape, nature and spirit are totally inseparable to me, so I’m starting at the beginning: before there was any physical landscape – only the mountains and rivers of the sky.

Chris Seeley Creativity is a child’s right and an adult’s responsibility — at Fundación Marcelino Botín


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