A Moment of Reconnection
In Sisters of the Yam, bell hooks examines how black women’s emotional health has been
and continues to be impacted by sexism and racism. She explores the links between
self-recovery and political resistance and acknowledges the impact of slavery in
disconnecting black people from nature hooks reminds us that our ancestors had strong ties to the earth and expresses how
important it is for Black people to reconnect with nature. She urges us to actively engage in
moments of solitude. To make time to re-engage with ourselves.
To close your BODIES experience, and reflecting on each of our own unique
relationships to the natural world, I invite you to enjoy ten minutes of silent solitude.
Preferably this would happen outside, but it could also be spent inside if you prefer.
- Find a place where you feel safe & comfortable - set a timer for 10 mins.
- Sit comfortably and start to connect to your breath.
- Notice the sensations in your body. If you are holding any tension, breathe into that
space. Allow yourself to relax and wash away these tensions.
- Next focus your attention on what you can hear, see, touch & smell.
- Keep observing the world around you and connecting to your breath until the timer
sounds. Afterwards, write down some notes on your experience. What showed up for
you? How did you feel in your mind, body & soul? Did you learn anything?
Thank you for participating
Ray & the BODIES Team x
Would invite you to share these thoughts if you would like to by using #BODIES #BODIESINSTALLATION #RAYYOUNG
James Joyce from Ulysses
What in water did Bloom, waterlover, drawer of water, watercarrier, returning to the range, admire?
Its universality: its democratic equality and constancy to its nature in seeking its own level: its vastness in the ocean of Mercator's projection: its unplumbed profundity in the Sundam trench of the Pacific exceeding 8000 fathoms: the restlessness of its waves and surface particles visiting in turn all points of its seaboard: the independence of its units: the variability of states of sea: its hydrostatic quiescence in calm: its hydrokinetic turgidity in neap and spring tides: its subsidence after devastation: its sterility in the circumpolar icecaps, arctic and antarctic: its climatic and commercial significance: its preponderance of 3 to 1 over the dry land of the globe: its indisputable hegemony extending in square leagues over all the region below the subequatorial tropic of Capricorn: the multisecular stability of its primeval basin: its luteofulvous bed: its capacity to dissolve and hold in solution all soluble substances including millions of tons of the most precious metals: its slow erosions of peninsulas and islands, its persistent formation of homothetic islands, peninsulas and downwardtending promontories: its alluvial deposits: its weight and volume and density: its imperturbability in lagoons and highland tarns: its gradation of colours in the torrid and temperate and frigid zones: its vehicular ramifications in continental lakecontained streams and confluent oceanflowing rivers with their tributaries and transoceanic currents, gulfstream, north and south equatorial courses: its violence in seaquakes, waterspouts, Artesian wells, eruptions, torrents, eddies, freshets, spates, groundswells, watersheds, waterpartings, geysers, cataracts, whirlpools, maelstroms, inundations, deluges, cloudbursts: its vast circumterrestrial ahorizontal curve: its secrecy in springs and latent humidity, revealed by rhabdomantic or hygrometric instruments and exemplified by the well by the hole in the wall at Ashtown gate, saturation of air, distillation of dew: the simplicity of its composition, two constituent parts of hydrogen with one constituent part of oxygen: its healing virtues: its buoyancy in the waters of the Dead Sea: its persevering penetrativeness in runnels, gullies, inadequate dams, leaks on shipboard: its properties for cleansing, quenching thirst and fire, nourishing vegetation: its infallibility as paradigm and paragon: its metamorphoses as vapour, mist, cloud, rain, sleet, snow, hail: its strength in rigid hydrants: its variety of forms in loughs and bays and gulfs and bights and guts and lagoons and atolls and archipelagos and sounds and fjords and minches and tidal estuaries and arms of sea: its solidity in glaciers, icebergs, icefloes: its docility in working hydraulic millwheels, turbines, dynamos, electric power stations, bleachworks, tanneries, scutchmills: its utility in canals, rivers, if navigable, floating and graving docks: its potentiality derivable from harnessed tides or watercourses falling from level to level: its submarine fauna and flora (anacoustic, photophobe), numerically, if not literally, the inhabitants of the globe: its ubiquity as constituting 90 percent of the human body: the noxiousness of its effluvia in lacustrine marshes, pestilential fens, faded flowerwater, stagnant pools in the waning moon.
Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: on blackness and being
'Wakes are processes; through them we think about the dead and about our relations to them; they are rituals through which to enact grief and memory. Wakes allow those among the living to mourn the passing of the dead through ritual; they are the watching of relatives and friends beside the body of the deceased from death to burial and the accompanying drinking, feasting, and other observances, a watching practiced as a religious observance. But wakes are also “the track left on the water's surface by a ship; the disturbance caused by a body swimming, or one that is moved, in water; the air currents behind a body in flight; a region of disturbed flow; in the line of sight of (an observed object); and (something) in the line of recoil of (a gun)”; finally, wake means being awake and, also, consciousness.'
Gail, How have you approached working collaboratively on this project ?
For me, all collaborative processes are about deep listening and keeping yourself open. Listening to your collaborators to understand what they want to say with the work. Remaining open to all of the things they are bringing with them and then listening to your own artistic instincts, as you start to weave the different elements and (sometimes conflicting) layers of meaning together.
When creating something from scratch I also find it important to hold space for uncertainty, risk and play before trying things down. This was particularly vital on BODIES. The water, in many ways, is an alien land for me. I’ve spent more time in pools in the last six months than I have in my adult life! So we would often come up with something on dry land then get in the water and realise it wasn't possible - that something completely different was needed. If we were focused on nailing things or fixing the piece too early, this could've been disheartening, but a playful approach kept us in a mode of curiosity and discovery.
- Lead Artist: Ray Young
- Director: Gail Babb
- Dramaturg: Season Butler
- Lighting Designer: Nao Nagai
- Sound Designer: Nicole Raymond
- Movement Director: Nandi Bhebe
- Designer: Naomi Kuyck-Cohen
- Video Designer: Gillian Tan
- Voice of water sound engineer: Alicia Jane Turner
- Decompression Space Web Design: Tim Jukes
- Production Manager: Lindley Productions
- Executive Producer: Nancy May Roberts
- Producer: Lucia Fortune-Ely
- Access Assistants: Mable Cable & Princess Bestman
- Researcher: Sophie Higgins
- Marketing and Communications: Koumbah Semega-Janneh
- Press: Louder Than Words, Myvanwy Evans
Bodies of water
I stretch 6,650 kilometers, from my source at Lake No in Tanzania to the Mediterranean sea. I dance through Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.
I have the largest catchment area of any river in the world, drawing from 4.1 million square kilometers across the highlands and mountains of the East African Ridge. I am is a vital source to 75 million people in the region and a vast ecosystem.
I am the third largest river in Africa, famous for my crescent shape which made me a notable asset of the Mali Empire. Today, I am a river in crisis, my fragile mangrove facing mass deforestation and erosion, and suffering from continued oil spills.
My course begins 1,500 meters above sea level in the north-west of Zambia and runs 600 miles to the Indian Ocean. I feed Mosi-Oa-Tunya Falls/Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
Formed as a confluence of the Bombu and Uele rivers, I am the Ubanji, a tributary of the river Congo. I run along the boundary of the Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo. In August 2022, I was one of many rivers overwhelmed by sudden downpours, which broke our banks and flooded in the DRC.
The longest river in Japan, I span through the cities of Nagaoka, Niigata, Nagano, Matsumoto, empting into the Sea of Japan.
A tributary of the larger River Congo, I am the Kasai. I meander from Angola to the Democratic Republic of Congo. In August 2021, I turned red, a symptom of pollution further upstream in the river Congo.
I am the Orange River. I form a natural border between Lesotho and South Africa, I was famous for the diamond boom of the last 1800s. I have great kinship with local farming and mining practices.
Holding one fifth of the Earth's fresh water supply, I am the Amazon. I span across equatorial South America from Ecuador to Brazil where I enter the Atlantic ocean.
Recently home to the Marsh Crocodile, I am Tapi of central India. I follow from the mountains of Gujarat to the Arabian Sea.
I am the longest west flowing river in India. Known as the 'little line', I draw the traditional boundary between south and north India.
I am the river Black, the longest river in Jamaica, so named for the dark hue of the sediment which lines me. You may find me in the south of the island.
You may find me in the periphery of George Town, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I am the Rabacca, a dry river for most of the year. When the heavy downfalls the island's wet seasons arrive I swell and fill up.
Running from the Australian Alps to the Southern Ocean, I am known to the world as the Murray river. My people call me Moorundie. I am the longest river in Australia, home to the indigenous Nganguruku community who have long cultivated the River gum trees (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) along my banks.
I am the Colorado river, and my journey carves through northern Mexico and the South West of the United States of America. I provide water to over 30 million people, but due to my reducing reservoir reserves, the states in my lower banks are facing a looming crisis.
I am Indus. I am a river in crisis. This Monsoon season, my banks have been overwhelmed with three times the usual amount of rain, flooding the villages near Kandhkot and displacing hundreds.
I am Yellow, the second largest river in China after my sibling Yangtze. I flow to the Bohai Sea from Bayan Har Mountains. The people that steward me have vowed to restore my vital neighboring forest which supports me.
I am Teesta. I am fed by the snow of Himalayas and flow to Brahmaputra. I am a river in conflict, the my territories of my streams, tickles and splashes are continuing to disputed.
I am the Pacific, the most expensive of all my ocean siblings, I am home to the Mariana Trench, and a third of the Earth's ocean. My swelling threatens to engulf Tuvalu.
I am the Indian Ocean, the third largest of my ocean siblings. I touch the Middle East, the Comoros Archipelago and eastern Africa all at once.
I am Chukchi, I lay between Alaska and Wrangler Island as Whales and Walruses glide through me
I am Hoi An, home to the many river systems that run through me, the historic east Vietnamese town. I have served as an important port connecting the region to my neighbours in Thailand and Laos. Dubbed the 'Mother River', the Thu Bon River is part of my system, an integral part of local fishing communities.
I am rather new here. I am a canal built in the 20th Century to serve the interest of business. But my very waters are ancient and ancestral, flowing between the Atlantic and Pacific.
I am a major international trade route between Asia and Europe, my waters have been a witness to numerous geopolitical disputes.