The Trembling, a love letter to my spine in which I become transparent to myself
       
     
The Trembling, a love letter to my spine
       
     
The Trembling. Monster. A love letter to my spine, in which I become transparent to myself.
       
     
The Trembling. Drawing my spine, in which I become transparent to myself.
       
     
The Trembling, a love letter to my spine
       
     
The Trembling. Travelling through my lungs, in which I become transparent to myself
       
     
The Trembling. Carnival Evening
       
     
The Trembling. Drawing my spine, spinal cord.
       
     
The Trembling. Travelling through my lungs, in which I become transparent to myself. With eyes
       
     
The Trembling. Travelling through my lungs, in which I become transparent to myself
       
     
The Trembling, a love letter to my spine in which I become transparent to myself
       
     
The Trembling, my poor beautiful nerves
       
     
The Trembling, my poor beautiful nerves
       
     
The Trembling, a love letter to my spine
       
     
The Trembling. Me.
       
     
The Trembling. Me, in which I become transparent to myself
       
     
The Trembling, a love letter to my spine
       
     
The Trembling, spine drawing
       
     
The Trembling, drawing my spine (Baboon)
       
     
The Trembling, a love letter to my spine in which I become transparent to myself
       
     
The Trembling, a love letter to my spine in which I become transparent to myself

Digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm. 2019

The Trembling is a new evolving project that over time will comprise of several elements: a CGI animation, a single projection installation, a work for radio, as well as drawings and digital prints.

This set of drawings from The Trembling, a love letter to my spine is the first stage in the project, focusing on Anne-Marie’s direct address to her spine in the aftermath of a diagnosis for a rare spinal tumour. Growing from personal circumstances The Trembling will be linked by the complex human puzzle, and productive potential, of illness and vulnerability.

Beginning in calamity the project takes as its starting point a shocked trembling provoked by sudden death or illness - but it stubbornly moves outwards, slyly ironic and resourceful, to reach towards a metaphysical dignity.

The elements from The Trembling are intended to be shown independently but take the form of interlocking, intersecting chapters. Considered together each chapter forms a complex depiction of vulnerability, identified here as a prolonged trembling that can also be seen as a form of strength. Here, vulnerability is invoked to author a semi-fictional world affected by a trenchant mourning in the service of an elaborate defense of the self.

The Trembling, a love letter to my spine
       
     
The Trembling, a love letter to my spine

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

With open-eyed seriousness I tell the two Doctors sitting with me that I am a baboon. Pause. And that I had a glass ball at the centre of my body with something very toxic inside. If I fall and break the glass ball it will kill me. “We don’t think you’re a baboon Anne-Marie!” which is spoken with an equal seriousness that I’ll always love him for. Pause. Narrowing his eyes, looking straight at me, “but I couldn’t live myself if you fell. So yes”, smiling very slightly, “you’re staying here”.

The Trembling. Monster. A love letter to my spine, in which I become transparent to myself.
       
     
The Trembling. Monster. A love letter to my spine, in which I become transparent to myself.

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

The Trembling. Drawing my spine, in which I become transparent to myself.
       
     
The Trembling. Drawing my spine, in which I become transparent to myself.

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019


Written on ward 4. June 2018. Victoria.
60’s. Major surgery since an accident many years ago. Complex spinal surgery, complicated by her fragility, she told me. We share the same surgeon. Determined. Has had over 3 major surgeries in the last few months. The people on Ward 4 are in pain. Sits out beside her bed, with her red hair falling on her shoulders and puts on a nice coral lipstick. Is walking with a frame now. She has a curious ethereal quality. She is thin. I’ve lost so much weight you see Anne-Marie. Anne-Marie, that such a nice name. I love your dressing gown. The smile is gentle, warm and often her gestures are very slightly out of sync with her speaking, giving a sense she is not quite physically present. She seems to be fading in front of me, half cloud. She smiles, and has good use of her hands and gestures openly to me as I pass her by. She would wave in recognition at me and smile as I passed by her room long before we spoke. Its amazing how you endure Anne-Marie. Humans can! Question are direct in this ward immediately. No-one has time for small talk. Do you have children. Yes, perhaps its good you didn’t with your situation, it would have been difficult to handle all that with young children. And your husband, he is a good support. Its so difficult on them. Thats great. Wonderfully you have a good man. It might be your are a very rare text book case. I agree, what are the odds. We hope for the best for you Anne-Marie. We really do.

The Trembling, a love letter to my spine
       
     
The Trembling, a love letter to my spine

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

The Trembling. Travelling through my lungs, in which I become transparent to myself
       
     
The Trembling. Travelling through my lungs, in which I become transparent to myself

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

The Trembling. Carnival Evening
       
     
The Trembling. Carnival Evening

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019


In hospital I would send myself to a imaginary forest to cope with tests, especially ones where I had to keep very very still. I would chant, over and over, His eyes. Holding me. In the forrest. Under the moon". With thanks for Henri Rousseau. I became his snake charmer.

The Trembling. Drawing my spine, spinal cord.
       
     
The Trembling. Drawing my spine, spinal cord.

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

Ward 4. June 2018.

Sally
My bird of paradise. Scottish, I think. I only know her through her magnificent silhouette as she passes by the end of my bed. She's also with my surgeon, Mr Hanny Anwar. Sally is one of the few that can walk here but does so wearing a large angular neck brace that extends from her shoulders upto her cheeks. It locks her neck so her chin points at a dramatic angle to the ceiling, the end of the brace a kind of peak. Sally wears a long skirt and has red-purple hair and a blue patterned top. She somehow manages never to bump into anything as she walks, though she surely can't see around her. So, the fact she glides makes her gloriously mysterious; brow furrowed like an angry plummaged bird she focuses fiercely as she uses her fingertips to see with, brushing the blue hospital curtains, which flutter sulkily around her as she powers through the hospital ward. Sally and Victoria seem to talk. If I'm here longer I would like to try to speak with Sally. - She just walked past me again, and I swear the brace was at a lower angle. Slowly the bird is changing back into a human.

The Trembling. Travelling through my lungs, in which I become transparent to myself. With eyes
       
     
The Trembling. Travelling through my lungs, in which I become transparent to myself. With eyes

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

The Trembling. Travelling through my lungs, in which I become transparent to myself
       
     
The Trembling. Travelling through my lungs, in which I become transparent to myself

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

The Trembling, a love letter to my spine in which I become transparent to myself
       
     
The Trembling, a love letter to my spine in which I become transparent to myself

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

The Trembling, my poor beautiful nerves
       
     
The Trembling, my poor beautiful nerves

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

The Trembling, my poor beautiful nerves
       
     
The Trembling, my poor beautiful nerves

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

The Trembling, a love letter to my spine
       
     
The Trembling, a love letter to my spine

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

The Trembling. Me.
       
     
The Trembling. Me.

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

The Trembling. Me, in which I become transparent to myself
       
     
The Trembling. Me, in which I become transparent to myself

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

The Trembling, a love letter to my spine
       
     
The Trembling, a love letter to my spine

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

The Trembling, spine drawing
       
     
The Trembling, spine drawing

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019

The Trembling, drawing my spine (Baboon)
       
     
The Trembling, drawing my spine (Baboon)

Drawing.

digital drawing, 29.7 x 42.0cm

2019