"…….I (..) have thatched myself over with the dead fleeces of sheep, the bark of vegetables, the entrails of worms, the hides of oxen and seals, the felt of furred beasts, and walk abroad a moving Ragscreen, overheaped with shreds and tatters raked from the Charnel-house of Nature, where they would have rotted, to rot on me more slowly”. Sartor Resartus (the tailor re-tailored) THOMAS CARLYLE 1833
Lyn Wait 2018
Selfscapes, Dalby Forest
Neither song nor shriek nor caw 2018
Pen on cardboard
as the Nightjar might do.. 2018
A coat is the cover that allows the wearer entry to or for a specific function. Thomas Carlyle’s description darkly reveals the oddity of human need for clothing and for taking his materials from where they can be found. This could even be part of the desire for assimilation and glamour in clothing oneself.
The coat that forms part of this artwork was made at the end of the 1980s by a fashion house specialising in outfits worn by the mother of the bride. It has extravagant shoulders worthy of the TV soap opera ‘Dallas’
from the same era.
Now its pockets are filled with forest findings - it bulges and prickles - it is neither for the forest nor for the wedding it was designed for. It is a hybrid.
The inscribed charred and drying leaves offer advice from a survival manual called NO NEED TO DIE by ex SAS soldier Eddie McGee and which in the 1980s was said to have been carried by a dangerous fugitive who used the advice it gave to hide among the trees from his pursuers.
The Nightjar likes to lie along branches rather than perch across them as other birds do. She blends in perfectly like dead leaves with the bark of the bough. Her beak is tiny and belies the fact that her mouth is huge. Her mate’s voice is unique and is hard for humans to emulate as is neither song nor shriek nor caw.