Welcome to the Innovative Conservatoire

ICON Seminar 5

Dartington, UK


Valuing something old

Dinah Stabb

Last updated August 20, 2013

When I think about why these images are so powerful for me I have started to wonder whether my imaginative journey as an actor and director and improviser is fuelled by the desire to re-find something, someone.

I took this picture to Dartington and about 4 others all of them about valuing something old and mysterious and often disturbing. This sculpture made a strange and powerful impression on me, partly because the boy looks very like my eldest grandson. He seems entranced and at peace because he is holding this old part fish part human creature. All the images I brought have a narrative of coming from the deep or out of the earth. There is in them the notion that something lost has been rediscovered and from that there is possibility reconciliation. All the people who saw this were a bit taken aback.

The feeling of loss which I think is part of the human condition is understood and eased by story-telling and creating drama/theatre. So out of a memory of the past life of the world a new story is told to keep the dark at bay and make sense of the light.

The extension of this reflection is really the same as the source, and indeed was one of my sources. It is called Sealskin Trousers by Eric Linklater and is a re-telling of the old myth of the Silkie who is half man half seal who comes on land and lures with love a girl whom he then takes back into the sea. She happily goes back to live in another element but to her family left behind it is a drowning, a death.

Those are my thoughts at the moment. I am also thinking a lot about what we carry with us. Who walks alongside us as we live.


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