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Residency

OTHERLAND

Lucy Gayler x Gemma Garwood

To begin with, perhaps, we were unsure of where to go. So we followed our feet, we walked and talked and then sketched and played, made shrines and wrote.

We watched them come for our grandmothers

And then they came for our mothers

We watched them come for our mothers 

And then they came for us

We watched them come for us 

And then they came for our daughters

We watched them come for our daughters

And then they came for our granddaughters

And so it always 

Endlessly seems to go 

But it is not how it started 

Nor how we will let it finish

For a long time the cunning has run through the people of this place

It takes no note of age or looks or gender 

It runs like a river through its chosen channels

But for a long old time the cunning women fell by the wayside

They never got spoken about 

They got written out

Instead of being raised up on the pulpit for their 

Inimitable conversations in the language of all things 

They were dragged to assizes and necks snapped 

Drying out in the wind like birds strung up

Hanging in preparation for roasting in a pie

Their colours fading with each passing moment after the vital spark had gone on

But it is not how it started 

Nor how we will let it finish

They still talk of Cunning Murrel around these parts

But what of his mother

What of his grandmother 

All the daughters of the line leading up to him

There is a place that they could all see 

Just out of the corner of their eye

A place with a long lost name 

That they could only tell with the curl at the very edge of a smile

And a tongue that slips between the gaps in the other words and letters… 

Sometimes the path to get there got trapped in the corners of peoples houses and they had to take them off, else there would be no getting back to normal. Or put bottles under the thatch to trick the things that wended in through the tiny spaces between the reeds… 

It seems to me a good place to hide away 

This Otherland

Time works different there 

All at once and not at all

You have to be careful 

We watched them come for our grandmothers

And then they came for our mothers

We watched them come for our mothers 

And then they came for us

We watched them come for us 

And then they came for our daughters

We watched them come for our daughters

And then they came for our granddaughters

And so it always 

Endlessly seems to go 

But it is not how it started . Nor how we will let it finish.

Then we got to making in earnest. Writing spells, making hagstones and ritual garments, weaving magickal structures to capture the cunning, to pick up all of the things that might otherwise get lost but for the warp and the weft…All the time thinking back down our lines of Essex Women.

We recorded everything. We found our way into and around the OTHERLAND. We conversed with our past selves and out ancestors. We made these films to share our journey and offer some insight into this special place that lies between things, trapped safely here in the warp and weft of the world…Here also we have a repository for all of the recipes, stories, instructions, spells and experiences we collected and continue to collect in the OTHERLAND.