This work began with interviewing Irish women in their 40’s and 50’s. My interest lay in what they thought about their roles and responsibilities. I wanted to reference the concept of cocooning, evolving and the views about the changing roles and responsibilities expressed by those interviewed. Eventually this led me to the Irish myth of the Selkie. Hence the shape and colour.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Selkie here is a very abridged version.

 The Selkie is a seal in the water but can shed this skin and become human. In human form the Selkie is beautiful and the ‘perfect’ wife and mother. If you find and hide her seal skin she will stay with you, but if she locates the skin she will immediately return to the water.

I used a basic crochet stitch that was shown to me when I was very young. Using crochet allows me to reference the age-old tradition with all it symbolises. I include an odd alien stitch, which opens the conversation about intentionality to those who notice it. This might jar with traditionalist. That’s ok by me. The presence of a navel refers to motherhood. The whole idea is to question our roles and the pull of wanting to be ‘free’ of them (even temporarily), while also thoroughly enjoying the varied roles we play.  I wanted to express the feeling of being trapped and that of choice. The aspect of life’s dance and our internal silent struggle.

My choices were also influenced by the fact that we were all being asked to cocoon because of Covid and the challenges that presented.

The performer was chosen for her ability, appearance, and age. She is only 12. An age when many girls reach puberty. This performer could be mistaken for being much older and therefore ready for more than her years should be asked to handle. Her own mother was present throughout the performance.

While creating this work I was also referencing the use of collaborators.

This video performance is not complete and will have further editing of sequence. In its current form the piece is silent and black/white.