St. Vitus’ Dance

This single channel video piece was first shown in Cross Gallery as part of my solo show When darkness falls from the air. It was a long time in the making as I looked for a suitable location to shoot it in. St. Vitus’ Dance is an archaic medical term for a disease whereby the sufferer experiences uncontrollable jerking movements of the extremities and face. I came across this disease when researching somatoform disorders and the video footage that is available online really intrigued me. The movements articulated by sufferers grabbed my attention and I began to imagine what it might feel like to not be fully in control of your own body. I say this as a fully able-bodied person and out of curiosity – perhaps this line of research may be offensive to some? The notion of control and loss thereof has long been present in my work as I struggle to work my way through my own mind-body connection. Is something real when you feel it in your head or does it only become real when it is visible to and experienced by others? I guess this has something to do with validation. Nonetheless, I chose the action of twirling as the catalyst for my loss of control. I have fond memories of twirling as a child but adult life does not leave much time for such frivolous pursuits.

In situ in Cross Gallery as part of When darkness falls from the air

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