In Fingers & Belly, participants sit in a circle of chairs. Eight volunteers each hold a ball of yarn, the string of which makes up a web within the circle of chairs. When the performance starts, the eight volunteers are tasked to ravel their ball of yarn, untangling the web before them, until they reach the end of their string, at which point, they are told to sit. All eight balls lead to the centre, attached to a shroud/sheet that the performer is using to cocoon herself. So there are three main actions. First, the volunteer/participants, unraveling the web. Second, the performer, who, naked, crochets closed the shroud/sheet around her. And third, the other participants/spectators, making up the rest of the circle, who watch and are encountered by the unravellers. The performance ends when all eight balls of yarn return to the centre—the performer—and the later is finished her cocooning.
As a contemporary retelling of Ovid’s “Arachne,” Fingers & Belly resituates the spider, transformation, and the female body within contemporary textile art. This resituation sees textiles, textile creation, and femininity not as simple naturalities, with similarly simple interpretations, but rather a series of dialectics: community/individuality, loneliness/privacy, and danger/creativity.