Deeply rooted in a form of artistic ‘barefoot anthropology’ Shaved Rapunzel, Scheherazade and the Shearling Ram from Arcady reflects both on the culture of disconnection from the natural environment and the boundaries of art, gender and the rural everyday. It recounts the experiences of artist Orla Barry who has left the city and returned to her roots to be reborn as a hybrid: a farmer-artist.
In this collection, the idea of approaching language as malleable material comes from the rehearsal room. It is an aspect of orality always to the fore in Barry’s writing. In fact, this is not a book: it is a performance.
All of Orla Barry’s writing comes from physical action of one kind or another. It’s art in the doing, literally research in the field. For Barry, combining agriculture and culture is an ongoing activity that creates vocabularies, tones and formal shape-making in her work.
The result is a universe of Mafia Shepherds, Pawn Shepherds and Sophisticated Shepherds; of red lipstick, husbandry, profanity and animal dramas; of reincarnated sheep, aesthetic sheep, sick sheep and black sheep; of placentas, sexual desire, gender, shit-tanks and adoption units. Of buying, selling, slaughtering and loving.
Contributor: Lisa Godson
176 pp. | 12.5 x 19.8 cm