Surprisingly, the words for this collage were left over from the newspaper-culling session that led to the last Nonsense Newspaper Narrative I did. If only I could call this one ‘Nonsense’ too, but as we all know, history won’t allow that to be true. I find it fascinating that this story could be buried in ordinary, even boring, articles in a newspaper (a lot of these words actually came from a local paper – the letters page and an article about an escaped lizard offering the most interesting turns of phrase). I love how things can become abstracted too, ready to be reinterpreted. When I do these collages, I make sure I don’t sit down with an idea or subject in mind – the opposite, actually – so I never know what ‘narrative’ is going to emerge, or the image that might go with it.
When this ‘fiery’ theme emerged, it immediately put me in mind of the witch-burning trials that you read about in history textbooks and documentaries. Reading it through now it is finished, it’s rather horrible to think that these words might actually have rung true for some poor woman, many women, once.
Kind of eerie to think how the stories of history (and its ghosts) are always there just beneath the surface, waiting to be found, isn’t it?
A torchlit procession
I am set alight
I couldn’t believe how it had got there.
exquisite circles, They covered the skin
There is a loss of well-being
getting up the nostrils
I hear, however, that my
body was shining brightly
over at an angle.