A Sea Change is a puppetry and performance-based video that revisits the 1837 Hans Christian Andersen tale The Little Mermaid. Subverting Anderson’s admonishment of deviant female desire, A Sea Change tells a story of interspecies love, loss, and self-discovery through the connection between a girl, a witch and a whale.
The video features handmade puppets, props, and costumes, as well as a soundtrack featuring new and previously recorded sounds. Puppets play a central role in the work, used as a means to imbue a connection to one’s inner child and sense of imagination, as well as to explore complex topics, such as the relationship between grief and rage, interspecies love amidst environmental devastation, and the vulnerability needed to forge new ways of living and loving.
A Sea Change was created with assistance from Michelle Hall, Elizabeth Bills, Noemie Huttner-Koros, Haseena Abdul Majid, Josten Myburgh, and Aisyah Aaqil Sumito, with additional filming by Georgia Ivers and editing assistance by Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson. It features Falling in love (2021) and additional sounds by Psychedelic Snakeskin; Field recordings (2021) by Josten Myburgh; Humpback whales (c 1990) by Megan Hyde; Atlantis (1968) by Donovan; and Solo Whale (1970) by Roger Payne, courtesy of Ocean Alliance. All additional sounds were created by Megan Hyde and recorded by Josten Myburgh in 2021.
above: stills from A Sea Change, 2020-2021
below: selections from A Sea Change, 2020-2021, 4.24 minutes