twenty minutes

 

21st September 2012, Emily Davies Studio, Aberystwyth University

I wish to communicate a specific experience, but I don’t actually remember it- I was unconscious. I know it lasted for twenty minutes. I remember what came before and I remember waking up afterwards. In that twenty minutes, my child was born. How can I communicate an experience that I do not remember myself?

I return to what I do remember… with a welcome to the dryness, and a prayer of invitation…

This was a 24 hour durational performance, in which I built a 10m diameter sand mandala and labyrinth. In the 24th hour I presented a performance for a public audience around and inside the labyrinth. There was a soundtrack, and a projected film. The film was an auto-interview of a repeated attempt to remember the details of my birth experience. An impossible task, but one which occupied my mind for years after the event.

The waters dry up and the sky rains down as sand

You wait

You can hear her breath, like the tidal drag, pulling you out

As she draws closer, collapse cuts off –                                                  

 

                                                        Her child

Her death

You are not enough

You too will be lost.