Mamma Maggot

‘Mamma Maggot’ is a new performance to film, created to establish the third and final chapter of my PhD thesis and to sit alongside the two existing pieces of practice created for the Biotherapy Suite (Clocking Off 2018, Goat Majorette 2019.) The film is structured and follows a narrative. It begins with my experience of abjection and horror at an infestation of maggots in my garden during a heatwave. This moves onto imagery of me as maggot in the lab setting and as a green bottle fly, dressed head to toe in a green loungewear/ sportswear costume. deliver facts and information about the use of maggot therapy and how the larvae are used in a medical setting. Finally the work focuses on Professor Yamni Nigam’s personal narrative of releasing her maggots to free them before the first lockdown in 2020 forced her to close her lab through the staging of a re-inactment and a releasing of a new colony. The performance took place at Swansea University in January 2022 with myself, Professor Yamni Nigam and a colony of maggots as the performers.

This body of practice based research focuses on the misconception that maggots are horrific and is an attempt to provide an alternative depiction of the maggot through the species use in maggot therapy. Professor Yamni’s ‘Love a Maggot’ has been a vital source to this work as the project aims to create public awareness of the potential uses of the maggot through outreach and education. It was also my aim to connect with a dynamic, and leading woman practicing in the science world. ‘Mamma Maggot’ also offers a new perspective on collaborative practices between artist and scientist . With Yamni’s generosity and the hosting of this work at Swansea University I was able to see the maggot species in a controlled lab setting and research environment. As a result I was able to gain a detailed understanding of the important research into maggot therapy taking place at Swansea University. Making art work in my home town of Swansea is of huge importance to me as I strive to highlight the cultural and academic landscape of the city. Being able to foster a new connection between the University of Manchester, where I am currently based and Swansea University has been a fruitful endeavourand a positive knowledge exchange. I hope that the Mamma Maggot film can sit within the important work taking place on the ‘Love a Maggot’ project and help in promoting  maggot therapy as an attractive and viable option to the general public.

Mamma Maggot film still, 2022: