During my residency at PILOTENKUECHE in Leipzig, Germany, I was seeking out the absence left by my father’s family when they fled this city in 1940. Through the weight of objects, I explored the impact of past trauma on the body in the present. The colour and shapes of structures, old and new, inspired me to move in particular ways. I loved finding dead-ends, doorsteps, small forgotten spaces just as I was drawn to an imposing archway or the surface of a cobble-stoned street. Responding to the space created by these features, I found frames in which to improvise and perform, physically externalizing what emerges: movement, sounds and words. I believe in the possibility of new stories emerging from the wreckage of the past.
Tracks emerged out of this research into my familial past. It was performed as part of Almost Tension, a group show at the Alte Handelsschule in Leipzig, Germany, in March 2020.
“Sarah carried several items up and down the stairs, these items were in direct opposition to her organic body. They were mainly rusted steel, spiraled around her arms, legs and torso, but also around a large branch. These items influenced the movements of her body. Wearing them as cloth AND burden, she went through a multitude of feelings as she tried to deal with them as something non-negotiable. Sarah had a strong presence in the exhibition, perhaps more than she expected. Perhaps because in Leipzig the collective consciousness has a strong memory of the un negotiable, too.” Maeshelle West-Davies, April 2020