I find myself part of a rather wonderful collaborative group which has acquired the name ‘Mud Collective’. We have crafted an audio walk that connects Iraq and the UK through soil, telling the story of a pot made from earth samples brought in a suitcase from Basra to Cambridge. The collective comprises: Dr Nawrast Sabah Abd Alwahab, Kelcy Davenport, Shaima al-Sitrawi, Sarah Strachan, Will Crosby and myself.
The walk was featured as part of The Cambridge Festival and can still be experienced via the Mesopotamian Mud website. https://ajourneythroughvoiceandvessel.wordpress.com/
I see strands running through my practice that were not visible to me at the time. I try to extricate an essence that I can convey in words, but the words induce paralysis rather than release.
I am walking through mud. It tugs at me, slows me down, gives way, allowing me to sink and lift. Mud as the sticky substance in which ideas cross, the wet messiness, sensory and unbounded nature of it.
Mud has become an unexpected protagonist sliding between projects.
It is more tangible than untouchable abstract notions floating in the air and dropping occasionally or falling with the rain.
Now I find the connecting substance in the ground. It gives the body priority over the thinking mind, strips away the layers of obscuration created by language and replaces them with the muddy language of the earth. Or does it?
I am using human-formed language to say this, but now it is merely a rudimentary pointing device, pointing away from the screen to the muddy margins. It does not let mud speak for itself.
I carry mud from one place to another or the idea of it…
It seeps into another collaboration and works its magic there. It is common ground.