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The Libra and The Pear Tree

Enter here into the realm of the punished demon, Osseart, who haunts the streams and the puddles, tormenting the forests, an imprisoned beast now free, his chains darkening the vast pink sea, long fingers poised and ready to pounce. Trade him your first caught fish and keep the demon at bay (for now). Summon him with the chant below;


Griepke, griepke, grauw, zonder tand en met een mouw.


“The Libra and the Pear-Tree” is a painterly performance, an extended pandora’s box, spilling with secrets and stories, intertwining family names, truth, or history, presented like a fable.


Tethered to the past, I become my family tree, matriarchal lineage carried through the mother’s side, drowning, rising, bubbling past, present and future, surrounded by fish. My house reflects my inner world, sometimes overwhelming and dramatic, following trauma. Trees themselves curling stories up in their branches, falling like brittle leaves.


Fish become vessels which hold multiple possibilities, the idea of trading fish congruent throughout the piece, representing mental health, trauma, resilience, manifestation, epigenetics, inspired by the story of Osseart, keeping the beast at bay, or manifesting the beast within for survival. Within the performance, I draw on burlesque for its sultry sanctuary, the idea of Hansel and Gretel, luring in participants through initial wonderment, the balance of power and control, judgement and surveillance.


I am daughter, sister, mother, cousins, grandparents, I am the fish to be traded, I become my own beast, haunting myself. My performance is inspired by ideas of obedience and rebellion, multiple identities, the after-effects and recovery of complex trauma, limbs thrashing, water rising, reaching for the surface and a gasp of air, truth masked and perceptions altered, clambering from the depths of survival.


Trauma is not ephemeral, its residue staining the walls in glowing shades, dripping and convulsing, overwhelming. My patriarchal and matriarchal names intertwining as I struggle to find the balance within the pear tree. The performative nature of households, becoming the performer as the journey begins again, this time with a new head.

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