It Is For The Tiger

    A solo performance talk by Sue Palmer  

When I was a kid I lived on a farm not far from Longleat Safari park in Somerset. And whenever a calf died, my Dad would put it in the back of the Landrover and drive it over to Longleat to feed to the lions and tigers.

Put a tiger in your tank, in your potency pill.
Adopt one, get a certificate.
I love the tiger and the tiger would still eat me, yes.


This contemporary video-text performance looks closely at our relations with tigers, the 'wild', our desire to rescue and adopt, anthropomorphic corporate behaviour, zoos, fur and purr, our love.

Thoughtfulness, humour, awe and desire collaborate to imagine the tiger more alive than extinct, more fur-nomenal than digital.

"I really enjoyed your show the other night. It was thought-provoking, funny, heart-breaking and very memorable." Michou Godfrey

"Your images and words have been re-visiting me all day. A great evening" Carolyn Findlay



It Is For The Tiger

In July 2002, I adopted a tiger.
My tiger was called Makalha and she lived in west Thailand.
I paid £2 a month towards Makalha’s well being and I got a certificate.
I did this adoption thing because I wanted to feel what it felt like to do that. I want everything to be saved, rescued, which of course, I know is ridiculous, its not how the world seems to work. But as James Hillman says: ”When you know the tigers are going….you begin to mourn and to look around you with a different eye.”

Triggered by a dialogue with the World Wildlife Fund regarding adoption, I became curious about our relationship with rescuing wildlife at this unique point of environmental change - I have spent the last five years researching and collecting many diverse and eccentric materials.

Using the tiger as a lens to focus on the more curious aspects of human behaviour, the work searches for insights into human-animal connections and obsessions.



"I fell in love with your tiger piece at the Merlin showcase and was really pleased to show it here." Robert Miles, Brewhouse, Taunton

"I thought the show was great, we had really positive feedback from the audience members I spoke to..." Tamsin Ace, arts depot, London


Through making transparent the various emotional and mindful states the tiger invites in me, alongside autobiographical material and collected documentary footage, the work travels through the complex and the absurd, the playful and the philosophical.


Tiger, you have no idea what you ask of me and I like that yes yes
You have no idea how hard I try to make sense of it all, yes
I’m an animal with furry teeth
I lifted my hands off the floor, from four paws to two feet and now I look at them, my hands and they live back at me, waiting for me to make things,
I look at the world and it looks back at me and asks, yes yes
Tiger, you are very good at being a tiger
You know how to be a tiger and you do that so very very well
Tiger, you help me see in the dark, yes
I love the tiger, and the tiger would still eat me.

    Sue Palmer makes contemporary performance, working both individually and collaboratively as a producer and director, and teaches devised theatre at Dartington College of Arts in Devon. She works collaboratively as part of Biggerhouse, a collective of artists, performers and filmmakers based in the South West. Devised theatre and contemporary performance have been at the core of her artistic practice for the past 25 years, which engages site based arts practice, experimental composition and work across media exploring human perception and consciousness, phenomena and nature.  
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