Hag-ridden, Summerhall

Hag-ridden was a solo exhibition which took place at Summerhall Lower Church Gallery from June – July 2014.

Forest, Trees, Girl, collage of found footage, Vertigo, 2014

Hag-ridden ˈhaɡ-rɪd(ə)n

  1. Tormented or worried, as if by a witch
  2.  1680’s “afflicted by nightmares”.  An old term for sleep paralysis, the sensation of being held immobile in bed by a heavy weight and accompanied by a sense of an alien presence. Also: Succubus, Mære (Old English), The Old Hag (Newfoundland), Witch riding your back (USA)

Hag-ridden explored ideas of personal identity, specifically female identity as a form of haunting. The starting point, a particularly terrifying experience of sleep paralysis I had as a teenager along with other dreams, childhood iconography and stories from growing up as an identical twin, informed my object making.

With reference to female archetypes from Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Italian Giallo horror film, and literature (including the writing of Shirley Jackson and Henry James) the exhibition explored formal visual ideas of collage, duplication, erosion, to create a portrait of identity as memory, dream, obsession. Using a range of approaches and materials – including reclaimed windows, dressmaking patterns, carbon paper, moving image, painting, drawing and text, Hag-ridden was exhibited across the 5 gallery spaces of Summerhall’s Lower Church.

The sound installation House/Body which is in the main exhibition space, was created by sound artist Lynne Thermann in collaboration with Michele Marcoux.


Hag-Ridden is a triumph of installation. Works as diverse as overlaid drawing-paintings on opaque caravan windows, scraped carbon-paper scenes from Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ and video films all explore a landscape of haunted, absent houses and, related, the gulf of loneliness when one twin is away from its own carbon-paper copy. ”

– Paul Robertson, Curator, Summerhall, Edinburgh, 2014

Interview on Summerhall TV

Michele Marcoux : Hag-ridden from arts-news on Vimeo.