2020 (ongoing)

Dia presentation with 40 slides

Audio presentation of eight voices

 

The Shetland Archipelago, north of Scotland is home to 20,000 inhabitants. The rich folklore and mythology is carried by Woman’s voices. This ongoing project will consist of a throrough research in their archives, reflecting and contrasting present environments with their past ones. 

 

The first part of this project focusses on the folklore of the Selkie. The Selkie lives in the skin of a seal underwater. She can come upon land as a human when she takes off her seal skin. Many of the lore tell of a man who steals her skin, making it unable for her to return to the sea. She marries the man, bears his children. Eventually she finds her seal skin and chooses to return to the ocean. She takes her freedom over her expected role as  mother and housewife. 

 

Alongside a slide presentation of images suggesting the Selkie lore, the voices of women from the islands tell of the Selkie. They tell different versions of the tale as well as contemporary literary interpretations. The second part of this project will focus on the history of witches in Shetland. 

see also: they say she was – Artist Conversation with Erien Withouck

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Erien Withouck