Photographs by Virginie Gilardin.  See the 
project website for more images and information.

This performance is a response to a story about my childhood, a myth beyond my own memory.  I am told my relationship with the V & A started in the 1950s when my mother would take me and my brother on frequent visits, sometimes daily.  While she expanded into the space, keeping at bay the stir-craziness of a young mother living in a flat with two toddlers, we were instructed to behave.

It seems I would sit quietly for hours drawing pictures of the statues whilst other visitors complimented my mother on her well-behaved daughter.  What strikes me with awe about this apparent compliance is not that I learnt to study form so early, which I certainly did, but that my two-year-old firey energy and strong will could ever have been contained for such long periods.  

Free Will @ The V & A (2009) then is not just a performance during which I attempt to inhabit the V & A from the position of a free child:  it is a present to my young self,  an acknowledgement of my costly restraint.  It is a celebration of the art of fidgeting, running, jumping, touching things, climbing in, on and under them and the general joy of doing as one pleases: the culmination being a crawl around the café floor in-between and under the furniture.

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