Clodagh Delahunty-Forrest (Lichfield, England, UK): The Phoenix

  • 13 Oct 2023 1 pm UTC
  • dur 10 min

Continuing the legacy of 20th century body performers such as Carolee Schneemann and Karen Finley, Clodagh Delahunty-Forrest utilises performance as an art form to rewrite female narratives. This is evidenced in ‘The Phoenix’ (2022), a feminist body art performance where the physicality of the performer’s voice and body is tested as a means of social commentary. Using classical mythology and literature as a foundation, Clodagh becomes the phoenix in this immersive performance, transforming the mythical creature into a woman. As a result the work informs an investigation into the relationship between death and rebirth in relation to the female form. Clodagh explores the transformational cycles of the phoenix alongside the painful and beautiful cycles of womanhood. During the performance Clodagh distorts her body for an unnerving effect, enabling the artist to raise awareness for the changes the female body undergoes and how these changes have impacted her relationship with her own body. \’The Phoenix\’ consists of three parts and is a total of 15 minutes. However, for the online performance art festival some changes would be made. Only two of the parts would be performed: the first and last. The piece was originally created and performed at Lancaster University with access to a studio, dark space and projector. Post graduation, these facilities and equipment are no longer available. Due to practicalities, the piece will be performed outside without the previous projections. As a result more attention will be paid to making the body distortions more realistic. The audio, noise effects, costume and spoken word poetry will remain the same. The piece will be performed in a woodland next to the artist’s house (there is access to the internet). Clodagh Delahunty-Forrest is excited at the possibility of tightening and improving ‘The Phoenix’ for the online art performance festival. Overall, ‘The Phoenix’ is feminist, unsettling and atmospheric.

Clodagh Delahunty-Forrest is a 21-year-old solo performance artist, spoken word poet and screenwriter based in Staffordshire, UK. Her creative practice specialises in Feminist body performance art. This summer Clodagh graduated from Lancaster University with a first-class degree in Fine Art and Creative Writing and she was recently awarded the Made It 2023 award with a group exhibition at the Royal Standard, Liverpool. Clodagh Delahunty-Forrest has performed at the Jewellers in Morecambe, the Gregson community centre in Lancaster and at the second annual Dada Ball in Ambleside. Her performances and installations have been exhibited at the Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Art\’s final degree show 2023 \’Disruption\’ and online at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of Insights Platforms. Clodagh is currently on a gap year with aspirations to study a creative based Masters next year. ARTIST’S WEBSITE