ceramics | imagined corners | material woman


how do women walk

between me and my sister

open end

dry tears

coming round again

things not worth keeping

still alive

weeping woman

give me a call

blue moon

imagined corners

below the surface









the weeping woman   2001 Clare Hall Cambridge

The giant woman of Prague, as created by Sylvie Germain in her 1992 novel The Weeping Woman on the Streets of Prague, exists in between the visible and invisible worlds, hovering, limping between life and death, a figure of compassion and grief, who personifies the continuous presence of tears. In the book there are fourteen sections, perhaps paralleling the fourteen Stations of the Cross in Christian practice. The installation comprises five different sequences, each of fourteen things, some more closely related to the text than others, but all bringing out the rhythm of the repeatedness of the giant woman’s appearances.

The Book Marks are clay tablets which stand on a copy of the book and the Pillow Books are clay envelopes containing “lines”of the book shredded to create aphoristic messages. The Fumaroles, smoke holes, demonstrate the differing responses that clay and paper have to fire. The Appearances, made from two photographic transparences printed together, make the woman manifest in the city.The Companion Sticks are to help her - and us - on our path.

That is how I see the whole thing - as a way of keeping company with the weeping woman. The work has a direct connection with the earlier How do Women Walk? in using a giant female figure at its centre.

My thanks to my son Max Burrows for some of the images of Prague which were taken on a joint visit to the city in 1996 and to Sylvie Germain for generously encouraging us to “use” her text.

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