The Company

The Company comprises a constellation of organs and entities as an artistic-fictive strategy in the investigation into the fragile history of a 17th century enslaved Angolan midwife at the Cape. Displacing any notion of wholeness or single-point-perspective, the investigator, the artist, myself, has shifted the focus of work towards a plurality of parts and beings : the Wandering Womb; Muriel, Emissary to the Past; Orlando, Preternaturalist; I the Ear, Travelbreath; the Company Ghosts; and the Spirit-Being of Honour, !midwif. In the Lost Volumes which is a narration with-in and with-of the project it is the Company that writes. In the Fieldguides it is Orlando Preternaturalist who is Mouthpiece.

The Wandering Womb

The Wandering Womb stuttered into existence on the Remington typewriter as a ‘lyric’ for an audio work. In the research into medical histories of women going back to Aristotle and the Hippocratic corpus, I was constantly confronted with views on the female body as having a faulty part – the womb. According to these sources the womb was a beast that would leap upwards and attack other organs. The language describing this demonic wandering womb was outrageous and on the Remington I typewrote it into rhythmic verse. It became an audio work arranged and sung by Mariske Broeckmeyer which then developed into an idea of the Travelogues of the Wandering Womb. If the womb could not stay in place to procreate, then let her travel!

Orlando, Preternaturalist

Orlando we are. Preternaturalist. Singular or plural, and both. Here, now and everywhen. Time-traveler, shape-shifter. MOUTHPIECE.

Orlando we are, mouthpiece, yes, spokeswoman, yes. To which we can add drafter of diagrams, keeper of the journal, scribe to the expedition.

Orlando we are, mouthpiece, spokeswoman, mistress of ceremonies. Our task is to shape the story.

Muriel, Emissary to the Past

Muriel, Emissary to the Past, takes her shape from a number of ghosts in the studio. There is Kate Muriel Giddy who studied arts, covered books with cloth and embossing, transcribed a war diary of her brother, beat copper into trays, painted still lives, fashioned silver into jewellery and then, after the birth of her first child, my father, died young. There is Muriel Hudson-Leysen who was a working woman, a nurse, under whose bed, as found a brown leather suitcase containing a thousand letters. These Muriel’s and their artefacts haunt my studio and, together with a green portable Remington typewriter, have converged into a single Muriel.


she occupies the between-time, the twilight time, the least occupied time, as the moon arcs across the sky and the gleaming begins

I, the EAR

Listener for the Unsaid and the Unheard.


weather-lungs, word-of-mouth, whisper-whistle, inhale-exhale

Company Ghosts

The ghosts of countless women who resorted to plant remedies to abort

The ghosts of those who provided this knowledge to women in need

The Company Ghosts

The ghosts of countless women who resorted to plant remedies to abort The ghosts of…

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The Dissolving

My body is breaking up / my-body-is-breaking-up / and each sense, each organ, is going…

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