Yoo-hoo! I’m still here: Greetings from the Abyss

“Yoo-hoo! I’m still here: Greetings from the Abyss” (2021) 68 x 185 cm, handwoven textile, double-weave, linen and textile paint.

Yoo-hoo! I’m still here: Greetings from the Abyss

I want to hear women bark
I want to hear them spit, growl, howl and talk
I want to hear the depth of their voices, their deep throats
I want to hear dark sounds from bellies and bones
I want to hear a smoky voice, full voice, deep screams and rumbling
I want to hear many women together
I want to hear their voices in unison
I want to hear a thousand women roar and scream
Their voices becoming a rumbling dark thunder
A thousand rumbling women

I want to go out into the dark
I want to leave my house and go out
I want the darkness to engulf me
I want the night to be dark, black, blue, silent and very very deep
I want my eyes to get used to the darkness
I want my eyes to be wide open
I want all the blue light of the night to fill my eyes
I want the darkness to enter my wide pupils, my retina, to pierce my skull, to enter my body through my wide open holes
I am wide open

I want to touch
I want to touch the world around me
I want to stick my finger deep into the ground
I want to pierce the layers of dirt with my hand
I want my hand to be dirty
I want the dirt to reach far up my arm
I want my whole arm deep into the soil
I want the waters and moist of the earth on my skin

I don’t want to leave any traces
I don’t want to leave any threads
I don’t want my footprints to stiffen, solidify like concrete and leave hardened wounds in the earth
I don’t want my body to dry out,
Stiffen like dead stick and leave painful stings every time you try to move
I don’t want my thoughts and ego to be swirling around like ghosts never ready to leave
I don’t want my stories to never change

I want to be a roar
I want to be a dark rumbling roar full of life
A roar that comes from deep in my throat, from the depth of my belly
A dark scream from deep inside
A rumble from a deep, moist, dark crack or cave
And there will be no echo

‘Yoo-hoo! I’m still here: Greetings from the Abyss’ is a textile work and a poem. The work consists of two handwoven textiles hung freely in space, with an image that stretches over both of the textiles, and a poem presented in a sound piece or as printed text.

In archaeology a twisted fibre is a rare find, and is already considered a textile because everything starts with a thread. Textiles are not only absent as material relics in history and archaeology, but its labour is also largely invisible. Elizabeth Fisher’s carrier bag theory proposes that the first cultural device was a container, like a braided net, to collect things in. The twisted fibre is a thread, a net, a basket, a bag, to carry food, game, tools and children in. Ursula K. Le Guin and her follow up essay the ‘The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction’, connects storytelling to this theory and she points out that the braided net and the gatherer filling it up, does not make for a great story because it has no hero or action in it. The maker, the gatherer, the bag and its content is not an invisible story, but a secondary one. It is a backdrop in the story of the spear user, hunter, warrior hero and great action.

‘Yoo-hoo! I’m still here: Greetings from the Abyss’ is a greeting from the secondary story. The work is both tangible textiles and an intangible sound. It is a backdrop as a dark, deep and oceanic abyss yoo-hooing at us. The poem is both a longing for a powerful, loud and screaming women’s voice and at the same time a desire to tread lightly on earth while leaving as little traces as possible. It is a greeting from the petrified twisted fibre and the hands that made it.