Lilo in the pond…..

Last week after I had started to talk about clothing and our exteriors as part of our bubbles.

Everyday when I get up and get dressed I see a print I have in my room of The Lady of Shallot. The painting by William Waterhouse (Tate Britain) based on the poem of the same name by Tennison.

A woman dissenting.

A woman shut INSIDE a tower, and due to a curse only ever able to look at the OUTSIDE (Camelot) by watching through a mirror. She falls in love, with Lancelot (his reflection and voice), and her dissent is in turning to look directly, ignoring the curse, wanting to get a look at something real!

The mirror breaks and she head down to the river to sail in a boat to Camelot, but dies along the way……

Soooooooo much in this, and lots of sticky stuff to comment on with regard to feminism, but I wanted to simply think about this in relation to our themes. Inside/outside and dissent.

So. I chose some clothing (my outer) that replicated her dress. I became (outwardly and perhaps inwardly) a Lady of Shallot for the day as I headed to Winchester. I went straight to the Rotunda, the round building on campus that we have been using, which is surrounded by a moat, full of reeds and lily pads. I took out my bubble, and unravelled it, I blew more air into it, to become a lilo again. I lay it on the pond……. and then I became outer again. It was cold. I couldn’t tell how deep it was, and I didn’t want to get the whole group of artists kicked out of the uni by my climbing into the pond. I decided to sit OUTSIDE the pond. With the lilo below me. I considered what MIRRORS we use now to see the world, and how the lady of shallot may dissent today. Instagram perhaps? Social media? And when we want something real do we leave our phones and devices? Can we? How many post likes did we get? How do we show our inner world and connect to the outer world?

One comment on “Lilo in the pond…..”

  1. Gosh, I need to get my hands on the Lady of Shallot story!

    Thank you for sharing what she means to you, and your long standing ambition to dress up as her one day – the day arrived!

    For most of my life I believed that my inner world was walled off from the outside world, and that no one would ever really be able to experience it. Words were my way of creating a bridge connecting the inner and outer experience, art was a way of expressing the ‘inner’ experience in a way that could be interacted with… and so I came to that image in a dream of the woman in a tower whose connection with the outside world was a long roll of parchment.

    A poem from earlier this year:


    Collapsible retractable flexible road
    Like a drawbridge to my keep
    I roll it out or slide it back like
    My tounge between my teeth.
    It is the road on which I walk
    It is the carpet to my throne.
    Or rather the intention to move
    From within to out there,
    And explore the terrain of the – waking dream.
    I choose when to walk and when
    To lock the gate
    Collapsible retractable flexible road

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