‘the lover circles her own heart‘ was a silent solo performance by Cecilia White at Verge Gallery in May 2013 as part of ‘beyond a thousand words’, an exhibition celebrating light, image and place.
Poetry, philosophy and the traditions of breath are essential to Cecilia White’s work. This intricate performance connects to Rumi’s poem ‘The Lover Circles His Own Heart’, as the artist creates a space to consider and express emotion, specifically the movement towards wonder and love. Rumi’s poem alludes to the stars and life’s fragments in perpetual motion and suggests a connection that defies logic and the desire for certainty. Beginning with a shift in the title, White engages her body to create a circle within a circle of fragmented mirror and historical maps and books. Like Rumi, she wonders at inexplicable connections – and disconnections. She senses the push and pull of a world that demands more than wonder and love. She questions its anxious boundaries. Dressed in a once traditional wedding garment, and lit only by blue and red, White turns and reads, turns and reaches to objects until, when she is near exhaustion and breathless, she folds her body and suspends movement to create a contemplative space, as if a circle for her own heart.