Recently I have been developing a series of live performances in which I present a narrative (in the first person) of an individual inflicted by obscure markings and wounds on their body.
With monologues, tools, artefacts and video, they present their processes of tracking and deciphering the source of these wounds, which they believe to be a shapeshifting cryptid. They approach the bite marks as encrypted messages and provocations; an invitation for conversation with the cryptid through a sensorial research process.
The live performances land somewhere between scientific data-logs, witchcraft and conspiratorial research experiments. My intention is to alternate between hosting and abandoning the audience in the worlds that emerge.
The armour, cryptid lure, mythic PPE, soft sculptures containing fossilised shark’s teeth (as presented in Allure, Hortus Conclusus and The Bait Cage Monologues) are examples of tools and artefacts made from ‘leftovers’ : metallic trash, shed animal parts, industrial fabric remnants.
I use ‘eco-gothic’ narrative to explore trauma and parallels of contamination in the environment with forms of internal, psychological contamination. The ways we navigate scientific and technological volatility and the violent path to the transhuman through other animal bodies are occluded within my monologues and sculpture.
My character accesses their internal landscape through swamps, quarries, wells and lakes like an expanded arterial system, expressing an awareness of the symbolic nature of their ‘practical research methods’ (as seen in the video for Allure); perhaps they are being bitten from the inside-out.
Underpinning my role play methodology in generating these narratives, either alone or in character, is a theme running throughout my work of reclaiming survivalism, gorpcore, prepping and pseudoscience, typically a hyper masculine pursuit within culture and fictional narratives. This is a queering of the monster hunt, a ‘feminising’ of dread.