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H 41 x W 63 x D 37 cm

Glazed earthenware and mixed media


Selkie’ gives powerful expressive weight to the affective power of the
seal-maiden story which runs deep in Scottish and Irish lore. Half-human, half-seal, they are ‘in
between’ beings whose erotic encounters with mortals - sometimes ending in marriage and the
bearing of children – can spell eternal, land-locked separation from their own kind, ‘the people
of the sea’. Only re-possession of the sealskin that was shed (or stolen from them) to enter mortal
life ensures free return and loving re-integration with their creaturely selves and kin – even when
that means the loss of their human family. The bend, curve, and weight of Partington’s selkie -
the heaviness of their gaze, deflected from us – speaks of the emotional depths of selkie legend,
with its tracery of grief, memory, and unbelonging. Always on the cusp, at the edge of vision, the
shoreline of imagination - Sarah Dunnigan

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