In Hand – The Second Week
August 15, 2011, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Heloise Godfrey

I have now spent two weeks in the Milkwood basement and feel like I have started to make it my own. The candles that light the space for my sessions have given it a certain smell and the heater has made the slight dampness in the air sauna-like. ‘Clients’ coming down to the space have commented on how warm and soothing the space is, but also on its almost religious atmosphere which aids my understanding of the space as a confessional one.

I have spoken to masseuses about the role of ‘healer’ and ‘confessor’ and how counselling naturally follows from touch, as well as the need for boundaries when this happens. It seems that when people lay their hands on us we sometimes open up verbally as well as becoming more aware of our own bodies. I am greatly interested in other kinds of touch as well and have been speaking to a Christian who uses other methods and other languages when he lays his hands on people.

The more time I spend in the space the more I want to react to it site-specifically. The darkness offered from a windowless space was perfect for shooting a video last week. I am also starting to collect detritus from my sessions – extinguished nightlights, oil soaked paper – these may also find their way into the work shown on the 1st September. It is clear, however, that there is too much scope in the research for this show to be a fully realised piece. It will be more of a work in progress, a marker showing where the work could develop.




If you have a story about an experience of someone talking to you and  laying their hands on you (in a religious or non-spiritual setting) that resulted in a sense of healing or change then I would love to talk to you.  Please get in touch at


August Residency
August 2, 2011, 9:11 pm
Filed under: Heloise Godfrey

 In Hand by Heloise Godfrey

My work is engaged with ideas relating to stories, particularly exploring the body as a site for storytelling. For the basement project I propose to turn the space into a Massage Salon. This is social space which can be as much about storytelling as the laying on of hands. Masseuses I have spoken to talk about a confessional or therapeutic space that is created. I would like to recreate this in the basement over the summer. I will massage volunteers and record the sounds of the experience and the stories they tell. I will also be speaking to other people who use words and the laying on of hands as a means of healing.

I envisage several open days where people would be invited to participate as well as days of editing the footage. Although it will depend on the way the work develops and the way I respond to the space I expect that the final work will be a video and/or sound piece.

Transforming the space into a massage salon.

Recording conversation between client and masseuse