WAIST by Anyonegirl and Greta van der Star
Ever since I was eight years old I was convinced I wanted to be a dancer. I trained and danced everyday for the next seventeen years. Drawn to gesture as communication and the concepts and stories within dance, I gravitated towards contemporary, improvisation and theatre-based works. When I turned twenty five years old, I decided that I’d like to put my efforts into something different. Another love of mine was writing, so naturally that’s where I headed.
For a long time I had closed the book on dance, accepted it as a chapter in my life and put it on the shelf next to cheap white wine and Ace of Base. It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve come to realise that dance is a massive part of who I am, more and more it is starting to find its way out of everything I am thinking about or working on.
WAIST is perhaps the first time I have deliberately combined my love of dance with my love of language. Working with friend and photographer Greta van der Star, we invited two friends Chelsea Jade Metcalf and Astra Rushton into YES Collective – a loft apartment on Karangahape Road with beautiful natural light. Here, I talked the girls through a few of the ideas behind WAIST and had them move accordingly, physically responding to what I was saying and suggesting, which was something along the lines of…
Recently I’ve been thinking about how it feels to be at the age of thirty-two years old. There is both pressure and freedom at this stage in life, and not necessarily in equal parts. For me, the woman’s waist is a section of the body that contains all of these notions.
By cinching in our waistline, our mid-section allows us to feel sexy when we want to, emphasizing the natural curve and shape of our torso. However, this silhouette works entirely against the swollen shape of a glowing pregnant stomach. At this age, there is an unspoken pressure (of our un-stoppable body clocks) to have children. One can only respond to these two notions working in opposition by listening to their gut instinct.
On the inside of the waist, the aim is to be as kind as possible by consciously eating for the health of the gut and our organs. Giving ourselves extra points for extra nourishment. After all, we only have one singular track of digestion, constantly working towards our ultimate and overall health.
I am also interested in wheat and water: two essentials for survival and two commodities that have shaped our culture for hundreds of years. I like the process of wheat to bread. I like the journey of water from dam to glass.
Form, shape, process, journey, a digestive track, a dancer’s sequence. Water and flour combined equals a loaf of bread. Survival. Fermentation, alcohol, water dams, electricity, rivers. Light and powdery flour vs. sticky, wet dough. Religion. All of these ideas as visual cues have played a part in informing this body of work, whether or not they are prevalent in the finished result.
WAIST explores the idea of the female form and body-in-space via photography and dressing, film and set design, and a nourishment ceremony of sorts.
Each medium surrounds the idea of the female mid-section both inside and out, touching on femininity, digestion, sex, pregnancy, nourishment, and a woman’s gut instinct.