We were never here is the umbrella title for a series of performances, collaborations and installations being developed during the first stages of my PhD research.
These experimentations are based around an exploration of paper as a material that can perform.
As a part of this process I have learnt how to produce handmade paper. I am experimenting with the delicate and repetitive process of this making, and also the materiality of the paper in the infinite forms it can take. One performative element of this has involved me producing handmade paper out of torn-up written conversations. These conversations are ripped up, washed and blended to make the pulp for new sheets of paper. The words are washed deep into the fibres of the paper, distorting and obscuring the writing, making the interpretation of it a creative act.
This has included an investigation of paper as the basis for one to one encounters. This process uses an archeological technique known as Paper Squeeze which uses paper to form a delicate and tenuous mould of an object it is gently pushed around. A part of this has involved me using handmade paper to ‘squeeze’ another person’s hand. Sometimes these have been anonymous encounters where the participant and I only meet through touch, at other times our faces have met too.