Taey Iohe

Tamarin Norwood

A brown bear in the company of a red spot painted onto the lens of the camera. The camera surveys the animal’s movements, and when it is close enough, the bear communes with the spot of paint, stretching up and grabbing at the fractious air around it. The bear wants out. It wants out of the film and into the thing that is filming: the outside, the world through the lens. It wants to wake up. In its final scene the bear lies down on the grass and the voice of the narrator promises to sing a song until it sleeps.

The painted circle comes to rest on its ear like a funnel for her words, and the red sound of the world beyond lulls the bear to sleep.I don't know a word in English for the point of falling asleep, the exotic sunset of wakefulness. And at the point of this word begins the friendly agreement of my abandoned body with its muted world, about whose axes I no longer move. The world and I keep still, and as long as neither of us moves we remain invisible to one another, and I slip outside.

Falling asleep, the point of fractious exchange between wakefulness here and wakefulness elsewhere. And at sleep, a sudden expanse of elsewhere.

Wake repairs. It repairs with the care of the eyes as they learn to decline unfamiliar nouns, slowly, first by rote, and then fluently as though they were real. I open my eyes and begin to decline the things outside as they dawn upon me, and after a while they seem quite natural. The mattress still at sea on the grass, the two pillows, the shoes, the night-time picnic hamper. I have hardly any accent left at all when I speak, and a voice without an accent is piercingly thin like an alarm clock, written all over the walls, time spun out in red thread.

I decline the writing on the walls around me in thread. It waits, and I draw it into my eye through the ocular membrane and begin to operate its forms. As I read the thread into my eye its tail catches on the surface of the lens and tethers there, and the tugs and swoops of my eyeball lasso new words into being as it surveys them from its certain fixed point, about which it pivots and rotates. But as long as I try to read them, their forms are concealed from my view by the blunt red spot on my lens which moves in such immediate sympathy with the thread that neither appear to move at all, and all of the forms are indelibly summarized into a single point.

And you begin to read the words while they are still tethered to my eye. You take care not to move the thread and I close my eyelids to keep still the end. As we exchange I hear your voice less shrill than mine, and the sounds you form with the words on the wall lull me to sleep before I hear what I have written there.

* Artist and writer Tamarin Norwood works with text, video and sculptural installation to examine gesture and pictorial figuration in drawing and writing. This artwriting is art writing for 'Strangers in the Neighbourhood', 'Lure of Lawn', 'Kamkacha Blues'.