Making Her Mark
In Making Her Mark a woman, performed by Scottish dance artist Tess Letham, sets out to draw a borderline directly onto a landscape. As she struggles with an oversized pencil to execute this physically demanding task, the ridiculousness and futility of her actions are accentuated. Filmed from the air, on land and water on the islands of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland, the work highlights the smallness of the human body set against the landscape it wishes to tame or exert control over. Human demand to demarcate the land is called into question as the performer moves through an ever-changing, unpredictable environment. The lines she draws are washed away by the waves, covered by tide or vegetation and swept into the air by the wind. Drawing a border is a never-ending endeavour. The line is constantly being lost and re-instated echoing current political debate and historical territorial claims made through generations. The work was commissioned by The Wapping Project, London, and was first exhibited as a solo show at Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre in 2018. The project was also supported with a Major Individual Award from Arts Council Northern Ireland.