THE LILIES OF THE FIELD

Video, Duration: 3.28 mins

The longing arising today from millions of human souls is for freedom: freedom from oppression by autocratic and persecutory regimes; freedom from hunger and fear, torture and imprisonment; freedom from the outworn beliefs and habits of behavior that block our further evolution
— Anne Baring, Author of 'The Dream of the Cosmos; A Quest for the Soul'

'This extremely performative video piece explores the destructivity of inner mind chatter, the idea that this anti-social background hum to our daily lives is a major contributing factor to the drastic breakdown of our relationship with each other, and with our surroundings...

 These ideas have brought the unnecessary selfish grumblings of my own inner voice to my attention. Offering a refreshing look at the human condition, Lilies is an expertly produced, heavily edited film work that manages to embrace a temporal, physical and performative ambiance. Interestingly Josephine plays the central protagonist. Mud-covered and almost disconcertingly primitive, the video depicts her roaming around a dirty placeless beach, mud cracking across her face in a series of jarring invasive close-ups. Despite playing the central role it is clear that Josephine is representing everyman/woman, for as she explains, this disconcerting chatter is not secluded to a particular race, gender or background but is relevant to us all.

Film Still

Film Still

 Josephine maintains a strong relationship with the ‘voice’ in her practice as she confirms that ‘the spoken word seemed like a natural course to take.’ Lilies’ fictional script translates into an engaging audio soundtrack steeped in the sped-up style of everyday mutterings -‘everything always good happens to her, nothing ever good happens to me,’ and ‘of course she got that job being perfect,’ symbolic of the generic punishing remarks haunting our subconscious.

So where did this inherent desire to delve into the depth of our unconscious develop? Alongside the Samuel Beckett plays ‘Not I’ and ‘Play’ (both shrewd portrayals of the crazed unpredictable mind), her major research influence for Lilies was a week spent in a Buddhist meditation retreat near the beautiful River Dart in Devon. Here she meditated for three 50 minute sessions each day, spending an intense 12 hours in complete silence. After learning all this I realise that Lilies may be purposefully disconcerting but it’s an undeniably insightful work. It makes us stop, listen and think about actions that are too easily dismissed and ignored in today’s fast-paced egocentric world. All the while there is one worrying question left spinning around my head - are we all mad?’

Written by Georgina Bolton for Nom De Strip magazine