Metaphors embodied


Last evening I went to the “Susurrus” performance at the uW School of Architecture. Professor Sarah Tolmie, Medievalist, poet and novelist is also part of a contact dance troupe. They put on a performance structured around Architecture Professor Philip Beesley’s amazing installation, Hylozoic Ground. Please take a moment to look at the installation. There are lots of photographs here under “Gallery”: it’s so complex and beautiful. So ethereal and yet so very material. It moves, it morphs, it shines and it shadows. Anyway, we gathered at the Riverside Gallery to view parts of the installation, and then the dancers took us upstairs where they performed a series of dances that interpreted aspects of Hylozoic  Ground.

What really struck me was how the installation itself is in metaphors (and the artist/architect himself speaks in metaphors). What the dancers did was embody those metaphors. And it was quite remarkable to watch it. Here are a couple of shots featuring Prof. Tolmie.

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9 responses to “Metaphors embodied

  1. Prof.Tolmie a novelist?! What novels has she written? Thank you

  2. How does Prof. Tolmie find time and energy to do all she does? I’d like to read her novels–they are probably as energetic as she is! Can you list the titles and publishers? Thank you

  3. Thank you Dr. Warley! I’ll look out for it.

  4. I remember reading some poetry by Sarah Tolmie (and by Jane Tolmie, for that matter about a seashore) in the New Quarterly. They were quite good. There was a poem about baby language–perhaps appropriate for a Wittgenstein scholar?

  5. There has been a recent proliferation of books about metaphor. Perhaps this dance–a breathing, moving metaphor– displays, in part, how metaphor dominates our vision. Speaking of which, has anybody brought out a book about Canadian metaphors? Are there distinctively Canadian metaphors, just as there are Canadian idioms and sayings?

    • Sorry, I meant a study of Canadian metaphors rather than just a glossary of them. There must be some studies out there….

  6. I can’t think of a study of specifically Canadian metaphors, but perhaps one of our other readers can.

  7. Maybe one of the readers will write one, but it may have to be multi-volumed(or a large website) to cover all the peoples,regions and regionalisms. Newfoundland alone might require three volumes. Story et al’s Dictionary of Newfoundland English is a fun book to browse in search of metaphors. It deserves a “dandelion stare” (a hard look). Perhaps Waterloo has its own distinctive metaphors? A mixture of German borrowings and techno-talk?

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