Bells, a banging door, a cool breeze. She hears cups and saucers meet, footsteps on the wooden floor, a car stopping, car doors opening and closing, children’s laughter, the comforting sounds of people chatting, human presence. The door bangs again. Her eyes remain closed in this daydream. When she moves her fingers along the window ledge, they leave a line in the thick dust connecting the tiny bodies of a ladybird, a fly and a dead spider. The floral-patterned pillows are piled up. They have holes in them. A half-emptied water bottle stuffed underneath the table, a plastic hotdog with eyes, a left-behind umbrella and a chalkboard with faded writing are reminders of a time of togetherness, of ease and of comfort.
There is something between their love now, or has their love expanded? No longer two, but three. Hands reach out over the table. Forgiving. A square patch of sunshine frames this moment.
When all that we were familiar with has shifted and when sirens stop wailing – for a moment at least – their absence is filled with birdsong. Suddenly there are things that appear that you haven’t seen in a while, like a starry night, snails, worms, leaves growing. You remember how to enjoy rain again and the fresh feeling it gives on your skin.
The forest stretches out behind the white fence. The white lines demarcate space that would otherwise merge into a shapeless mass of colours, grey, black hues of blue. Twigs resemble feathers or brushstrokes against the dark-blue sky. Rustling leaves convey that she does not belong to the night. Now owls, bears, foxes and small creatures run free.
Before her feet touch water, the pond looks like one big mirror; clouds like precisely placed dots of paint, reeds weave water and land together, the tree trunk continues onto the dark surface. Her feet sink into the invisible bottom of the pond. Mud comes to the surface and stirs underwater life; tiny nasty-looking animals, slimy weeds, itchy sand that sticks to your body.
Now water doesn’t reflect the quiet space above any more. Her body and mind suddenly understand that this is the wisdom of water.
Model, Saskia de Brauw at Viva London. Special thanks to Trish Goff, Pascal and Philippe at Publimod, Vincent and Damien at Sparklink, Rita and Thomas at Art + Commerce and Steve Lovelace for his help on this project