I was very moved by the book, Sanity, Madness and the Family. It sets out real conversations between young women (patients of psychiatrists R.D. Laing and Aaron Esterston) and members of their families. I selected lines from their speech where they revealed their fragility and confusion.
‘Over this bit I am a bit in the air, not over all the things in the world, not over everything, not everything, but over this I am a bit sort of dubious’
Each letter from this sentence was extruded in porcelain. This process causes the clay to snag and coil from the template that created them, and these ‘flaws’ were retained when the clay was subsequently fired.
These 86 boney forms were hung in a line from five metal frames, so as the sentence can be read from below. In this situation they can swing freely, grate together and break out into sporadic chiming.
In November they were central to the performance A Bit in the Air, at GIOfest VIII, at CCA, Glasgow. Musicians from Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra divided into five ‘families.’ Each family centred around one female vocalist and a percussionist who played one of the frames of letters. The performance itself merged vocalised and indirect metaphorical interpretations of the line of text and the reactions within each ‘musical’ family.
Cath Keay May 2016