Orbicular Overlay, 2 person show 'COUNTER-FLOW' with Sophie Michael at Rectory Projects London 2021

Orbicular Overlay is a shell grotto created within Rectory gardens exploring their history from ancient nymphaeum sanctuaries to 17th century follies and their symbolic relationship to fertility, motherhood, childhood and coming of age and notions of the female sublime. 

In Ancient Greece girls and boys would cut off their childish locks in a spiritual ceremony dedicating their hair to the nymphs of the springs. A giant ceramic cowrie shell holds a clump of my own hair which my mother cut off when I was 9. My grotto is flanked by a giant scallop shell and two motherly sphinx with black ceramic scissors. Inside is a mirror which takes its form from the hair of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. Wall paper proliferates the image of a shell patterned decorative interior panel I found in an abandoned building. There are fountains surrounded by frozen and articulated hands that clasp and tip shell vessels. Other shells are mosaiced in shards of mirror or are sliced and splayed on or sinking into the sandy floor. Witches urns with Father Thames bearded face spill out ceramic hair. On the walls are patterned fragments, hair and references to the watery star signs. A large velvet glove hangs with a scorpion tail and two theatrical masks referencing Leonor Fini. The sandy grid floor will slowly erode away and morph into the wallpaper. 

 

This installation is part of my current research into metaphysical journeys through British gardens for which I received arts council funding.