Finding Daisy

Corinne reflects on their Remote Nest Residency.

I started the process of transforming into Daisy, my imaginary and only childhood friend. I met Daisy when I was six, I was crying in bed and she walked through my wall. I struggle with mental illness and often hear voices (auditory hallucinations). My voices are horrible and insist on keeping me awake at night, but sometimes I hear Daisy and she chases them away.

My hair’s a medium brown and Daisy’s a natural blond, though this changes depending on her mood. I was a painfully shy child and was often teased at school, this made Daisy angry and her hair turned the shade of fire. I brought a couple natural blond wigs, trimming and styling them until they resembled Daisy’s hair. For Daisy’s ‘angry hair’ I coloured the second wig with an orange pen, then drew Daisy’s many freckles upon my face with a freckle pen. I wear wigs as I struggle with the hair pulling disorder (Trichotillomania) and brought a dark wig that resembled the hair I had aged six.

Using my phones camera, I lay in bed and began filming, seeing myself as Daisy for the first time was like a dream. For a few days I happily inhabited Daisy’s body. Then she thought of Dad and started crying, I think she misses him too. Suddenly the residency was both about Daisy and Dad. Daisy helped me channel my grief. Using both strands of my real hair that I kept and Daisy’s hair, I sewed ‘He’s Gone’ onto my pillow. I learnt even when I borrow Daisy’s body I cannot escape this fact.

I heard bird song in one of my recordings, we live by the woods, so I often hear birds by my window. During one of my meetings with Janet, I spoke about including bird song as something to break up the constant sniffing and crying sounds. Janet suggested Daisy could make bird sounds, I loved this idea. Every morning for a week, I recorded the birds from my bedroom window. With my partners support (they are my full time carer) I even managed a couple of trips to our garden and a short trip to the woods a couple minutes walk away from home. I’m afraid of leaving home and after years of being largely bedbound am physically weak, so spending a few moments in nature recording bird song was a big achievement.

This work wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Talking Birds. My Residency was spread over a few months because of my health needs and emotional nature of the work. I’m deeply thankful for Janet’s support and understanding. Thank you to Talking Birds for giving me this opportunity to start finding Daisy whilst finding an outlet for my grief.