To reach one’s heart is through their stomach – a strange phrase braised with the comfort of familiarity whilst garnished with gendered prescriptions and served performatively. The fashionable wired cages of housed exotic spices are stacked collections of domestic holidays, grounded in limited experience and memories of a lifetime – cultivating sentimental smells of mama’s cooking. A domestic flag flanks the wall, identifiable by sycophantic floral motifs designed to synch in the waist… hanging… a memory of muted pastels stained by children’s sticky hands.
Nostalgia, though seasoned with age is retained within the kitchen.
Necessity made performative – Performance is necessity
Intimate Interiors of familial rituals and lovers receptions… cotton sheets with an unfamiliar head of hair crowned over their white peaks. To stay until that head rises would be to allow a performance of familiarity to unfold, awkwardly negotiated over a plate of eggs… or one could smother this story in its sleep with a silent exit. Avoidance of the kitchen is essential in this occasion.
Occasion dictates how one’s plate is decorated by hand-made masterpieces fired within aromatic studios – churning out cupcake after cupcake for screeching children, or turkeys dressed in funeral attire for their tinsel clad wake. A bony morsel is plated next to a stuffed epicure, aligned by intestinal tears disguised under cries of forced delight and long sleeves… Kitchens are battlefields of mind-fields and corpses, dictated by plot portions and tombstones of manically noted scales.
1, 2, 3, shake, stop, purge, -2, -1, none… ‘You look down Hun, cup of tea?’
Performance is necessity as ritual becomes therapy.
Hide: to remove oneself swiftly through practiced executions, pardoning your own mental distress of domestic ritual. 1, 2, 3, shake, stop, EXCUSE, tap runs, purge… shower starts, -2, -1, none…
The curtain falls to mark the performers debut.
Warning: draw back the veil is to shatter their trance in a moment of assaulted exposure.
A compartment of windows, enclosed within the naive walls defines this concert hall. Concertos of running drop-patterings, scaling pipe-humming and timpani shampoo-snaps accompany well-rehearsed gestures of this bare-skin dancer. A fantasia ballet of baby pink soaps is choreographed by renowned packaged baptismal-branding, marking null daily sin through scent and suds.
Benediction Body Scrub: Forehead, sternum, shoulder, shoulder_ cleanse
Daily ritual confession, where years old arguments bubble to the surface and tear stained faces stand vailed by lace handkerchiefs, stitched with running droplets. My mother once turned to me saying ‘Showers are where Mothers go to cry’.
Drowned she Found Momentary Escape
Confessionary rooms to keep mother’s tired smiles modest and bare bodies shunned – steam swirls, mists, suffocates with stigma, self-loathing and that scratching of pestering children at the door…. claustrophobic, freedom. An invited gaze may conduct satanic sanitisation, momentarily departing from the his and hers branding – dissolving the screen to understand universal tears. The dancer stops.
Return to plate fresh-faced alongside a complementary smile.
– Part of Exhibition at Whitespace Gallery, Edinburgh –
[Read Review for Exhibition HERE]