I have spent months addressing the perception of the female.

That a woman with intelligence is powerful.

That a woman with power is dangerous.

That a woman must be stopped from thinking about power.

That a woman must be stopped from thinking.


Measures must be put in place to prevent thought.

Women must be domesticated.

Women must be given a name that tells them to bake bread.

Women must be given a gender that is controlled.


This performance emerged from my recognition of the perception. I found it overwhelming and distressing that the perception is the root of our modern society, that the perception is overlooked and that the perception can not be unlearnt.


Knowing this I felt quite unhappy with myself and being a woman. I have always surrounded myself with male environments and male hobbies and have been unsure where I fit into the category of female for a long time as I don’t hit the major stereotypes. But this pushed me to view myself as a woman in an even more negative light. Feeling like I didn’t want to be associated with being female, feeding into the perception once again.


This performance was an attempt to cleanse myself of the negative perception. A ritual to shed the layer of discernment from my person and to break from this mindset.


The performance ‘Trial’ takes its name from the Trial by Cold Water in which the accused Witch is thrown into a river and found innocent if she sank, guilty if she floated. The rigged, paradoxical nature of this trial was harsh and cruel, a death sentence for either outcome.

In this performance I modelled wax onto my body using my warmth to stick it to myself. I formed a second skin over my torso. I then entered a cold bath, submerging myself beneath the water. The cold water seized the wax, allowing me to pull it off in an action of shedding. The wax layer, upon separating, continued to float on the surface of the bath as it drained, finally coming to a rest.

Wax, Water, Bath