bodytides is the expression of an inner-body response to the rhythms of the sea–the rising and falling tides that create an ever-changing prospect from my windows. Lunar cycles, which control the tides, resonate in the human body–which is largely composed of water–particularly in the menstrual cycle.
I began by creating large charcoal drawings on paper, through moving rhythmically and drawing with both hands. Limitations of paper width led to drawing directly on the wall. Limitations of space led to taking the idea to Edinburgh, to work for ten days in the large Patriothall Gallery space, creating a cycle of thirteen charcoal and graphite drawings on the walls. I used Authentic Movement–a reflective improvisational movement practise–to underpin the drawing process, working bi-laterally within the arm’s span (the maritime measurement of a fathom). Like marks on sand disappearing with the incoming tide, the drawings were washed away at the end of the residency.
fill your pockets with charcoal | take off your shoes | close your eyes
breathe in | feel the air fill your lungs | breathe out | let go | breathe in | feel the breath fill your belly | breathe out | let go of everything
breathe in | feel your feet flat on the floor | breathe out | feel your feet deep in the earth | breathe in | feel the crown of your head touch the sky
breathe out | feel the pulsing of your blood | breathe in | feel the fluttering of your wings | breathe out | hear the rush of rolling waves
breathe in | charcoal poised | wait | when a tidal surge sweeps up from your feet | begin
Photography by Norman MacBeath