Portfolio > A McFarqahar’s Bed Dream

2011
Supported by the Royal Scottish Academy, Creative Scotland and Cromarty Arts Trust

Selected works exhibited:
Royal Scottish Academy, Of Natural And Mystical Things, Edinburgh, 2012
The Departure Foundation, Treasures, Sunderland, 2012

The tide is low, granting me entry to the cave interior. It’s not easy. I must crawl on all fours; keep my back low, don’t scrap it on the cave roof (I do).

I’m in the belly of the cave. The sound of the waves hitting the jagged coastline rumbles all around me. Its dark and damp, but warm enough to undress. I take out my box of paints and line each up along the waterline, then mixing the colour with the seawater I paint my body. Limb by limb, using my fingers as paint brushes leaving long streaks and hand prints over my flesh, my hair. I’m ready. I’m new. I’m a character, an object. More and less than human. I explore the cavity as a new born animal. Testing the walls, my weight, my skin against the cold rock. The painting ritual has transformed me and allowed me to sit below my normal level of consciousness. Thinking back, it feels
cosy.

The incoming tide chases me back up the cave and the imminent danger of loosing my possessions to the sea brings me out of my dream. It’s now that I stop the camera rolling and I use my still camera to document the events. But my mind is still clouded by the paint creature, (or the growing numbness in my hands) and working the camera self timer feels alien.

The residue of an unspecified ritual and journeying to no end, A-N Artists Talking, June 2011