Dust Stone Circle is a PhD project of practice-led (or creative) research and accompanying critical commentary. It brings together overlapping investigations in poetry and dance that trace together a journey towards origins through my maternal line. Based primarily on responses to three ruins in America and Ireland – a family home, a karst stone landscape and a Neolithic passage tomb – Dust Stone Circle uses contemporary writing practices, archival work and somatic dance to pose questions about history, ecology, motherhood, memory, mourning, landscape and loss.
Using the document and the fragment as material for investigation, this project combines erasure poetry, visual poetry and procedural poetics. It uses film and photography, improvisational dance and walking practices as well as contemplative activities as source material for writing. Influenced by diverse traditions in dance, poetry and contemporary art, the project expands on the poetic practices of Yedda Morrison, T.S. Eliot and Ian Hamilton Finlay; the visual art practices of Mira Schendel, John Cage and Richard Long; and the movement practices of Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker, Miranda Tufnell and Misha Myers.
Dust Stone Circle focuses more specifically on the spaces where movement and language overlap, where choreographic and linguistic tracing meet and influence each other. The project simultaneously investigates philosophically into the nature of presence and absence, the corporeal and the incorporeal and the seen and the unseen both on the page of a poem and on the stage of a performance. It draws on Hindu and Buddhist aesthetics, Jacques Derrida’s theory of the trace, Sigmund Freud’s theory of memory and Carl Gustave Jung's investigations into circles, stones and archetypes. It exists primarily as finished work of visual poetry, but the project includes a critical reflection on the process of writing as well as appendices of a dance film and archival work that formed part of the research.
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