Thinking about the use of strength. sat here in the studio with strong, beginning of period period pains, shoulders and body achey from this morning’s training. I’m interested in how necessary that feeling, physical tiredness and muscular ache, equals redemptive qualities, a box to tick that allows the mind to calm and clear, and focus on other stuff. My mind gnaws and worries on the yet to do workout all day if I don’t manage it in the morning.

I understand that strength = a kind of immortality. It staves off age, helps avoid wobbling flesh, a tottering walk. It can mean a more physically capable body, a usefulness, a vitality, an ability to do things. But I must also acknowledge that the consuming need to meet my own standards is a substitution for the long term eating disorder which was the main partner in my life from aged 15 to 30 years. Or maybe just swopping one obsession for another. I don’t actually mind being obsessive. I prefer obsession than mediocrity.

These images above are drawings and photos made of myself by myself in the last few months. There is admittedly some obvious connotations that can be drawn.

Moving on anyway from this from an internal point of view I think I’ve been coming at this whole thing from the wrong angle. I see strength as intrinsic but others view it objectively. I use it as a vehicle to get things done, others see it as the main focus. Females are well know for their endurance and ability to bear things, to withstand, carry on. We have no choice!

reappropriating traditional strength imagery

I am wary of being short sighted in how I approach this research. I am doing a lot of action based rehearsals around an upcoming performance for Re-Vision Festival Belfast. Its called Working Through Feelings. I write down something thats causing me mental stress, and then perform a physical exercise to help me work through the feeling. And then write down the next one, and do another exercise, etc etc, on and on until all the stressful feelings are exonerated through physical exertion. Or until I cant keep going.

The middle image is the blackboard from this morning’s workout- I wrote down an exercise, did it, then wrote down the next one, and so on.. getting messier as I progressed and got more tired. This work has a lot of space in my head right now as I am due to make a performance on Saturday 26th in Belfast around this. Its interesting that I get mild anxiety around this and not other areas where I put myself in front of others.