An exploration of the Motherline in storytelling performance
In this ongoing body of work, I’m considering the traditional siôl fagu (nursing shawl) as a vehicle for powerful maternal narratives. Before the flint knap and the fire stick was the baby sling, in plant fibre or pelt, rewoven again and again, decaying and leaving little trace. But the child carried within is the holder of memories and imprints that connect past and future. Like matryoshka dolls, a woman pregnant with a daughter carries embryonic grandchildren; memory stretches backwards on a cellular level and forwards into the journeys we will need to take in the world. The siôl fagu, passed on through the generations, is like an earthly outer weave of this process, a first tender and robust sheath in and beyond our biological mothering. In the close-held bundle we negotiate the border of safety and jeopardy; our journeying begins on the hip, in the sweat smell, pulse, soothe-song and suck-song. Our vital vocabularies are intimately set in motion, the roots of our languages, our stories that speak of our individuality and bind us to our human belonging and our Earth.
A chapter outlining this work is due to be published by Routledge as part of a collection (w/t) Mothering: Processes, Practices and Performance edited by Emily Underwood-Lee and Lena Simic, in Autumn 2022.
Iterations so far have included – a performative talk in the online forum PERFORMANCE AND THE MATERNAL , a considering how maternal performance helps us to understand the lived condition of motherhood.
The work began its journey in September 2019 as part of an exploratory workshop for Chwedl network of women storytellers, in the Atrium, University of South Wales.
RETURN TO CRETE
Performance and Chorus in celebration of the ancient Goddess culture of Ariadnean Crete.
(This entry is in progress, please come back later!)