This piece for a glass box shows skills exchange member Hilary Williams in the space dressed in white. But it is not Hilary as herself.
As she winds herself into a white fleece – many yards of opaque covering become a form of body mask- a sort of cocoon is formed to crawl into or emerge out of.
A death shroud to wind into and out of. Life beginning, continuing or ending, does she give birth to her own metaphorical death?
Some sort of prehistoric insect, growing, spreading and moving but never able to take flight as it were always grounded by her own gravity.
Yet at times beauty can be found in age, infirmity and bravery of confrontation and contemplation.
A wedding bride fleeing her own future? A Holy figure in prayer? A ghost floating in public space, all are somewhere in this work.
Inside this the artist sets about working experimentally with this material, testing and exploring its potential with the use of body weight, stretching, holding, leaning. She places herself and the material on, around and into the fabric of the spaces as if it needed to breath and live in every surface and crevice.
At times the glass becomes a resting place where the buildup of body heat helps the form to adhere to the glass surface so slowly it descends down or laterally until the weight simply ends on the floor only to attempt another scaling, at times inverted up into the glass box corners.
This work is slow and quiet, it waxes and wanes in physical and emotional energy.
One observes a testing of the artist and maybe ourselves in facing up to life/death.
Performance at Ulster University. Belfast. Festival of Arts week.
March 19th 2012. 11.00 am to 12.30pm.
Photos by Brian Connolly, Art department, Ulster University art college, Performance artist.
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