The Witching Hour
The Witching Hour is a work inspired by the folklore and dark history surrounding Aokigahara – a dense forest located at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji. Aokigahara – also known as Jukai (“The Sea of Trees”) is the world’s most ‘popular’ destination for suicides – second to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.
The forest has a long association with yūrei – tormented spirits, said to have died in violent circumstances (e.g. murder or suicide) and who appear during ushimitsudoki (the Japanese ‘Witching Hour’ (2-3am)).
Aokigahara forest is regularly patrolled by wardens whose purpose is to prevent suicides and to report those that they find. Very often, what the wardens find on their patrols are ribbons tied to branches, apparently breadcrumb-like trails for the undecided, as well as remnants of the people who made Aokigahara their final destination: photographs, letters, clothing, etc.
31 October 2015, The Anatomy Rooms, Aberdeen - Sound Festival
13 June 2014, Citymoves Dance Agency, Aberdeen – informal showing
23 June 2014, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Violence (IDAV) Symposium, University of Aberdeen – informal showing
26 June 2014, Woodend Barn, Banchory – debut performance
16 October 2014, Riverside East Building, Robert Gordon University – as part of Dance Live Festival, commissioned by Robert Gordon University
[images by Colin Thom]