A cap, like water, transparent, fluid yet with definite body, 2017-18
H.D digitial video, 14min48sec
With contributions from Viki Browne, Maggie Nicols, D-M Withers, Danni Spooner and Autobitch
A cap like water, transparent, fluid yet with definite body is a moving image work, exhibition and ongoing research project exploring relationships between experiences of transformation, retreat and resistance.
The project draws on the writings of the Modernist poet H.D and her experiences of psychic breakdown and creative and sexual awakening on the Isles of Scilly in the early 20th Century. After a period of severe trauma in her life, H.D withdrew to the islands with her lover and collaborator Bryher in 1919. During this time of retreat, she had what she referred to as her ‘jelly-fish experience’ — an awareness of tentacled connections between female erotic body and mind, a state of autonomous sexuality and creativity described through the metaphor of a jellyfish connected to her body.
Considering the ‘jelly-fish experience’ as a state of being that disrupts and refuses categorisation, the project explores the possibility for peripheral landscapes to enable experiences that exist beyond the visible or thinkable; providing refuge for those existing outside of what is accepted and understood.
Bringing together collective improvisations, writing, personal memories and footage filmed on the Isles of Scilly, A cap… is a tentacular web of thoughts, archival research and responses from a number of collaborators; a collective endeavour to explore our own
Presented as a solo exhibition at Turf Projects, the project included a series of body prints on latex and latex covered seats, alongside a publication/poster with a commissioned text by writer and curator, Bridget Crone and a limited edition patch.
The moving image work has also been included in a number of group exhibitions and screenings including Virginia Woolf: an exhibition inspired by her writings at Tate St.Ives, Pallant House and the Fitzwilliam Museum.
The project is supported by an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts, FEAST, the Peninsula Arts Film Award and SWFTA (the South West Film & T.V Archive).
Voiceover, Jen Conway
Editing and sound design, Bryony Gillard
Movements, conversation and sounds by Viki Browne, Maggie Nicols, D-M Withers, Danni Spooner with additional music Autobitch.
Camera and additional sound design, O.L.Sutherland
The project takes influence from H.D's essay Notes on Thought and Vision, 1919