Charred obstacle stack; asserting. Set in, taking root. Enshrouding, encroaching. A black mass amassed, a dense suffocating forest follows; clings, leeches. Inescapable, towering, encircling. Event horizon. A dead weight, a dull ache. Choking skin’s breath and being. Tight, bound, smothering left, right, and centre. Pressed against, trapped within. Encrusted darkness; numb and lost to it.
Adrift. Island. Severed and disengaged. Within the furthest dark, a stirring. A fragile light quivers. Skin and being gasp for life; spluttering, jolting back. Emerging urgency. Apathy punctured. A breeze caresses deep, awakening the dormant. Loosen the shackles, shake them off. Take drastic action. Raze it to the ground; crumbling, tumbling, cracking, splintering, shattering, shedding.
Battered and bruised. No man is an island; swim to me. Accept help. No need to do this alone. Bridge land and isle, path a road to recovery, a path back. Reconnect, reengage. Whittle the connection clean. See the wood for the trees. Returning self; sensation, warmth enlivened. Time to return. Go back.
Moist grass underfoot, soothes step by step.
No Man is an Island; Swim to Me is a participatory performative installation in a series of works that contemplates the darkest moments in our life when the black void consumes us, swallowing all but an unsurmountable obstacle inhabiting the entirety of being. Paul Carter’s work opens up space to reflect on these embodied experiences with an intent for catharsis to take hold, laying troubled times to rest.