Passage is a series of quests each made with their own logic and structure and time, are now in pieces; passing, and potentially ever changing, interrelating images and sounds that are seen and heard partially and incompletely. Fragments that don’t add up, or make sense but simply bare witness to Whall’s “walking out of my body and into”¹ places where she found things and people and lives, that is “all”².
In Wales Whall searched for the meaning of the untranslatable Welsh word ‘hiraeth’ for the project titled Hiraeth, while looking she found a traditional hill shepherd and his dogs and made the audio project Chwibanu (Whistle). In Spain the search was for a common but rare knapweed that grew for only a few weeks on the north face of a mountain in Andalucia for the project Centurea Mariana Nyman Cunt. In France Whall tried to win the heart of a tiny transparent comb jelly that surfaced the warm waters of Ville Franche sur la Mer for a month only before disappearing, for the subterranean project Ctenophore ma Cherie, in Turkey the quest was to identify and capture the components of the ‘divine’ in both Sufi tradition and on the streets of modern day Istanbul for the project Divine Love, and while looking stumbled upon Sermin; a masseur sweetly singing in the marble catacomb like hamam spa under the streets, in Mexico the journey was an evocation of the dead artist and national treasure Frida Kahlo for a project titled Frida, in Thailand an attempt to piece together some remnants of the Lost kingdom of Lanna and in Berlin Whall found a man from Calabria who serenaded her with a River; an ever changing song, lost and found in the farms of Southern Italy and his heart.
The projects were developed in France, England, Spain, Wales, Turkey, Mexico, Thailand and Berlin, Germany.
Passage is a multi screen video and surround sound audio installation, a publication, a blog and a performance lecture. The project was developed in dialogue with Lindsay Hughes; Creative Producer, Visual Arts with support from Victoria Wastling; Arts Assistant, Visual Arts and Charles Farina; Technical Manager, Exhibitions, ICIA, University of Bath. It was funded by The Arts Council of Wales Creative Wales Award 2012, The Arts Council of Wales Research and Development Grant, The School of Art and TFTS Aberystwyth University and ICIA, University of Bath.
¹ …you might walk ‘out of the body and into the mountain’
² ‘…and that ‘all’ should be heard not diminutively, apologetically, but expansively, vastly’
Forward by Robert Macfarlane to The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd, page xxxi, 2011, Canongate Books
Passage, installation views
ICIA, University of Bath, 2015
My presence was always temporary and passing. Each time I arrived in a place I started a new story, a quest in search of something elusive, transient or difficult to define, a ‘thing’ both common and rare. My travellers’ observations were inevitably predictable at first but my stories unfolded, twisted and turned leading me to unexpected conversations, coincidences and collaborations. I was a passenger carried along simply by the pleasure of not knowing, the pleasure of not being at home; free to wander and wonder, to surrender to time and warm winds and to fall in love with songs, voices, words, faces, dances and places… now this collection of distilled images and sounds reveal and conceal my unique ‘passage’.