HD video, Colour with sound, Duration 6’:12”, Dimensions variable.
Eliza Installation view at Hestercombe Gallery, 2017
In the film Eliza, I play the part of Elizabeth Maria Tyndale Warre (b1790-d1872) who ran the Hestercombe estate in Somersest England single handedly when she inherited it from her father at age 29. Crossing the disciplines of performance, photography and film, I drew on extensive archive material such as photographs, drawings, shopping receipts, newspaper clippings, letters and testimonies. From this material, her character emerged.
A very unusual woman for her time, she remained unmarried and became reclusive from midlife until her death. She was the last of her family line, who owned the vast property, (that included a large landscape garden with man made cascades) which dated back 500 years. She was a woman solely in charge of a large estate, yet without much attention to fashion, made all her own clothes and hats. They were described by a cousin as ‘droll in the extreme’, and she caused a stir on her rare visits into the local town. As a younger woman, she had many suitors and was a great beauty with large blue eyes and thick blonde hair tossed up any old how with a comb. She was forthright, a great orator, and always won an argument. She was rebellious in nature and defied convention. Eccentric as she was, I also imagined her as a time traveller. A woman out of time. Weaving fact and fiction, using gesture and role play, I imagined how I might have been, had I been her, living then, and how she might be were she living now.