STUDIO CYBI presents SUMP, Lauren de Sá Naylor

May 1 – 2nd 2021 7pm IGTV

“We came to the caravan to bring the past into the present. It was situated in a clearing festooned with nettles, on the outskirts of the boundary to a semi-derelict stately house of stone overlooking, at a distance, Scarborough’s North Shore. A red brick garden wall. An adjacent ploughed field. I followed the harvest full moon east with my lens. In October, at sunrise, the North sea was frigid and luminous.

These video/poems examine the psychic push-pull of relation to persons and places. Coalescing space-time and contiguity as unstable, shifting, shifty, of pulling the rug beneath us, memories like vessels and sympathetic magic. I am an a Libran, an air sign & an invisible medium of relation. Active, like fire (making & doing), the other of water (emotion carrier) and earth (materiality). I am curious about conjugations between the elements, their alchemical and poetic mythologies. Entropy, conflict, adjacency, difference.

The language, poetics and semiology of coastal erosion resonates wildly with me. A diminishing clay shelf holding up the earth, where Doggerland connected Britain to Jutland, the Holderness coast of East Riding is the fastest eroding coastline in Europe. it has eroding for as long as I have known it, and forms a highly charged mythos/emotional link to this island and ancestry. The North Sea is where, in my child’s mind, Europe commenced. Architecture of the Old city of Hull echoes that of lowland Europe. All is flat and expansive in these parts. My English grandfather grew up in rural North Yorkshire, and the Netherlands is where my colonizing maternal ancestors departed from on their trans-Atlantic voyage to Brazil in the 1600s. This deteriorating coastline seems emblematic therefore of a problematic Europeanness I embody.

All is shades of brown & ochre: sand, sea, clay – a holy trinity of dysphoric Northern desolation. Concealed complexity: is not brown the hue of all colours combined? And isn’t clay of the essence? Of prehistoric ceramics, sedimentary morphology, figurines, bricks, cups, masks. The shale beach at Tunstall fosters fossilised stones smoothed by the brutality of North sea tides. We have been collecting Jurassic, ancient and childhood traces for decades, all marked by their contiguity with sea and plant life, left loose to chime in chorus with millions of other stones as the tide glides over, or wedged and gouged into the clay sediment singing bright and brown and newly exposed to the harsh freezing sea.”

Lauren de Sá Naylor, 2021