There is a shipwreck in my bones

There is a shipwreck in my bones was previewed at RWA, Bristol on 4th April 2011. Click here for more information about the film and to read comments from the evening

This work stems from a collection of writing and poetry inspired by stories of the sea.

Witnessing a series of conversations, we enter into something personal and private.

There is a shipwreck in my bones
There is a shipwreck in my bones
The rasping sea spits out angry men
Salt water fills my eyes
Their cries ring in my ears
Their struggle against the chaos
The noise of crazed water
Desperate men swim against me
Their echoes shudder through me
I cannot save them
Grit my teeth clench my fingers and toes
My body grieves, my heart nothing
There is a shipwreck in my bones

A man and a woman, living sculptures, moving and watching, the sea ebbs and drags at their ankles. There is an underlying tension as they dance together in the shallow waters, it is as though the whole sea is between them. With viewpoints both at a distance and in intimate spaces we watch their conversation take place against the backdrop of the sea. Moments of contact and tenderness between them are always returned to stillness.

Red, White and Blue
Unknown faces scream white terror
Of life, of death, of sea
Bodies losing to fierce water
Red streaks pass through swirling blue
Between sea and sky, they reside, restless
The surface reveals no truth
A careless concealment
On a marred horizon, jagged rocks sleep

Two people move in and around the sand dunes, the tall grasses framing their bodies. Though they occupy the same space, they barely acknowledge one another. As they strive to untwine the threads of their lives, to undo the darkness in themselves in the company of  the other, their movements become agitated and out of control.
The human body reveals all our secrets, we cannot hide. Emotions are stored away in muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments and sinew. Our skin shows both our vitality and our fragility. There is nothing we can do but to begin the process of undoing it all.

Two Women
This body tells my story, my life is engraved on its surface. Two women move in the sand, they make markings as they respond to the sands texture and formation. We see abstracted shots of skin and sand and the neutral colours of their dresses and the contrasting and vulnerable textures they present to us. As they move away, we see their impressions on the sands surface.

My hands gently rest on your body
Your mouth is slightly open, your eyes shut tight
I look at you
Your hair curls into the ground
We are shifting through mist, you and I
You fall away from me

My hands rest on my abdomen
My mouth is slightly open
My toes are spread
I am shifting through mist, grey light
I look down my body
My hair is curling into the ground, I am falling away
i am all dead but my heart is still pounding and my breath
My neck is stiff like a rod
My lips are now firmly pressed tight, closed


You can watch it here:

(password is shipwreck)