A cap, like water, transparent, fluid yet with definite body, 2017-18

H.D digitial video, 15mins

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 new moving image work 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

‘jelly-fish experiences’.

 

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 and cites M.Jaqui Alexander's essay, Erotic Autonomy as a Politics of Decolonization, 1997