A friend commented on my Instagram “Dancing in My Dressing Gown to Jacqueline du Pré.” Said it put her in mind of Miranda July. Provocation over lettuce, and late-night texts. Conversations in kitchens with celebrity friends who’d popped around for a cup of Oolong tea to discuss the latest dilemma (Miranda, not me). An aficionado of constant curation. Inviting the viewer in, mid-conversation. Ambiguous narratives. Personal, even intimate. But not quite. A gauzy beauty, manicured locks, quirky, vata. Zipping about like a dragonfly. But there were slower posts. In one she’d put an empty bottle of soda in between her body, and the lens, and proceeded to pull off her jeans. The shape of the bottle accentuated her derriere. The colour camouflaged her. What a trick.
The next day I went out on the hunt for a similarly green bottle. But it was like the holy grail to find one with both the correct opacity, and the necessary shape. Miranda’s wasn’t a regular bottle, it had curves. I went in and out of three stores, only to leave disappointed. Her bottle had only a tint of green. All the bottles on offer looked like they were trying too hard. I crouched down in the aisle of the fourth store to witness the effect of wafting my hand in front of one side of a bottle, whilst pressing my iPhone camera against the other. A shop assistant came over and stood behind me, bearing random items in his hand. I opted for a small bottle of San Pellegrino, and went back to the flat to experiment.
When you live in a bachelor’s pad, it’s always a case of remedying it. Neutral walls. Neutral lounge. Ikea replica black leather sofa resembling a pair of lips. Magnolia overload. I often played with the space to stretch it. Hanging objects vertically. Dangling things. Running Art Deco fabrics from ceiling to floor. Twirling them, by lamp light. I even considered hammering nails lightly into the wall in order to hang a canvas of a painting of a loch on it, before accepting that a loch couldn’t easily be hung on nails hammered in lightly. Besides, there’d be a sub-clause against that kind of activity. On the far wall hung two parallel framed prints of anonymous Parisian streets in the rain. I took them down, then put them up, then took them down again, then replaced them with a hat.
I’d been reading up on urban balcony gardens, but once I got going, I couldn’t stop. One day, I got back from work only to find soil on the carpet. Naturally, I feared losing my deposit. It began with a clematis. Pretty petunias upped the ante by intermingling with dragonfly plants in my sleep. Trailing Forest ferns led to the bed, tripping me up, on getting up. Aubergine Dahlias crawled into the bathroom, leaving black stems in the plughole of the shower. I complained to the agent, who got back after a few days to ask if I’d tried a drain cleaner. I said I hadn’t. On a shelf above the bed lay five pots of Trachelospermum jasminoides. White petals resembled stars. Nativity plays. Myrrh.
I pressed record, and stripped, like Miranda. But the memory on my iPhone was rammed, so I had to record in ten second snippets. Repeat then delete. My red bra blurted out against the San Pelligrino green. Smudged its way in and out of the frame. Could have been anyone. Any woman. Bleeding about in the lush foliage. Jungle floor. Cover. Juno. Post.
Samantha Louise Talbot / Sam Lou Talbot released her debut album “Mer-Made” in July 2018. Her poetry and audio-visual compositions have been published by Burning House Press, and exhibited internationally. She studied Fine Art Painting at Winchester School of Art, and completed an MLitt in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow in 2011, under Prof. Michael Schmidt. Sam was awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2017 for her significant role in effecting change at the University for the Creative Arts. She is currently a Doctoral researcher in Music at the University of Glasgow, and host of a new conversational podcast series on DIY songwriting – ‘Sam Lou Uncased’ – which can be found online. Sam has been instrumental in establishing the now funded for expansion ‘Practice Research Crit Group’, an autonomous collective of doctoral students from the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, Glasgow School of Art, and the University of Glasgow, who meet bi-monthly in their homes to share work-in-progress. Sam also hosts the quarterly ‘River House Concerts’. // @samloutalbot
Image by Samantha Louise Talbot / Sam Lou Talbot