As part of Fabric of Society, The Deep End, Glasgow International 2021
Costume for five Song members
My family gathers round the dining table to eat, talk, play, read, write, watch, remember, laugh, argue, listen, plan, meet, make, prepare, work, sleep, cry, kiss, share. We put things on the dining table: our new, old, precious, rubbish things, things forgotten which should be held. We put ourselves on the dining table. It carries our weight: the weight of our bodies, our lives, our ancestors. We are the dining table; the dining table is us. This is a costume for my family, in the form of our table – it is a beastly, breathing, family tree, a private interior where we can be together, inseparably.
Song Dynasty ○○○ is a costume crafted in an imagined dialogue with my family dining table – an object that has stood sentinel, at the heart of the home, watching us grow. It is a structured costume for five Song members – an outfit for a future family portrait and a growing familial archive. It hangs as an oval fabric form scaled in greens, whites and metallics – reminiscent of an ancient Gingham wipe-clean tablecloth, stained with generations of shimmering spills. An amphibious, leafy beast, it bears the impressions of forgotten, joyful, hidden, suffering, honest, guilty, struggling, wondering ancestral faces, past and future.