Holly Birtles + Milly Blue

Dancer teleports into Thames mud; kisses her fragmented self with tongues

Vocals and composition - Milly Blue

Video and Lyrics - Holly Birtles

3 min 32 sec

Location: Lambeth Bridge, London, UK


The video Dancer teleports into Thames mud; kisses her fragmented self with tongues was produced shortly after solo show up to your neck in mud by Holly Birtles at xxijrahii Gallery in Deptford went from physical to virtual in October 2020. Singer Milly Blue and Photographic artist Holly Birtles worked together responding to key themes - teleportation into the submerged landscape Doggerland, Thames estuary and mud! The video was made accessible to an audience who did not need to visit the gallery space - appropriate for Covid restrictions at the time. 

Up to your neck in mud was a photographic exhibition by Holly Birtles including images taken from an opera performance based on the Mesolithic findings of the submerged landscape - Doggerland. The work in show presented backstage and rehearsal instances whereby members of the cast contemplate and practice their role as specific elements or proposed happenings. Elaborate props were made in which represent the last wave, the Dogger mounds, the shifting ice and Mesolithic huts. Selected images depicted teleport scenes. Teleportation and fragmentation of limbs presents a dual existence from rehearsal to mud.   



Up to your neck in mud is closely linked to project C1 Monsters. C1 monsters refers to The C1 imray map which charts The Thames Estuary From Tilbury in Essex to Orfordness in Suffolk. The project consists of a journey which records key estuary points to both personal history and areas of visual intrigue. Utilising props produced and performances documented, the imagery is obscured and transformed into visceral monsters through photographic techniques, post production manipulations, 3D scans and layered sketches. The monsters vary in terms of location; the grotesque, humorous and bizarre these are reoccurring styles in which depict a symbolic tactile presence of the space visited.



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Holly Birtles


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