Skip to content

Saoirse Amira Anis


Dundee Contemporary Arts
152 Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4DY

HMS Unicorn
South Victoria Dock Road, Victoria Dock, Dundee, DD1 3BP

RRS Discovery
Discovery Point, Discovery Quay, Dundee, DD1 4XA

V&A Dundee
1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee, DD1 4EZ


7pm: Dundee Contemporary Arts 9pm: Discovery Point to V&A 11pm: V&A to HMS Unicorn. Each performance will last 20–40 minutes

breach of a fraying body

About the Work

Saoirse Amira Anis presents a performance as an extension of her solo presentation at Dundee Contemporary Arts, symphony for a fraying body, which takes inspiration from the watery music, rituals and folklore of Anis’s Scottish and Moroccan maternal and paternal cultures. In this film and installation work, Anis channels her bodily experience of rage through a rope-laden, amphibious mythical creature as it journeys to return to the sea. For Art Night, Anis embodies the creature, freeing it from the galleries of DCA to move along Dundee’s waterfront to HMS Unicorn, to seek the waters of the nearby river Tay. The costume for this performance has been devised and constructed in collaboration with a community of Black peers - including costume designer and curator Sabrina Henry and textile artist Dr Sequoia Barnes - imbuing it with the love and anger of a community. Proudly and ceremoniously it parades through the streets, leaving residues of hope and rage in its wake.

Find traces and remnants of Saoirse Amira Anis’s DCA exhibition aboard the Unicorn’s decks, which will be open to the public until the closing segment of the performance.

A co-commission with Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA).

About the Artist

Saoirse Amira Anis is a proudly Dundee-based interdisciplinary artist who graduated from DJCAD in 2018, before serving on the committee of GENERATORprojects for two years. Recent projects include: For no other reason than joy, Cample Line (2022) and Holding Barzakh, Platform:2022, EAF x LUXScotland (2022). She is a member of the programming/curatorial duo, two of cups, with Laura McSorley.

Instagram: @moroccanstylechicken

Twitter: @freed0mprincess

About the Venue

Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) is an internationally renowned centre for contemporary art and registered charity that enables audiences, artists and participants to see, experience and create. With two beautiful large-scale gallery spaces, two thriving cinema screens, a busy print studio, an award-winning learning programme, and a packed programme of events, workshops, classes and activities aimed at all ages and abilities, DCA is a vibrant cultural hub open to all, located in the heart of the city.

Launched in 1824, HMS Unicorn is a wooden Navy frigate and is the most original old ship in the world. From her origins in the Georgian Navy to her use in the Second World War, HMS Unicorn has 200 years of stories to tell: from her construction at Chatham Royal Dockyard to her arrival in Dundee in 1873 as a training ship, a role she carried out until the 1960s. HMS Unicorn is still moored in Dundee’s waterfront and is now the oldest ship left in Scotland, as well as one of the six oldest ships afloat in the world. Unicorn is open all-year-round as a museum and visitor attraction.

Extra Info: 

  • This performance takes place across multiple venues and within the public realm.
  • The performances have set start times and locations, but will be on the move thereafter. Please feel free to follow Anis on her route, or ask one of our festival guides for help locating her along the way.
  • The exhibition at DCA, symphony for a fraying body, is open to the public on the evening of Art Night until 2am, and runs until August 6th. 
  • Elements of Anis’ work will be viewable aboard HMS Unicorn, with access to the public from 7pm until the closing segment of her performance. 
  • Please note that some areas of HMS Unicorn are not accessible for wheelchairs or prams.

Image credits: Saoirse Amira Anis portrait, Lisa Ferguson/The Scotsman, 2022; Saoirse Amira Anis, symphony for a fraying body (Film Still), 2023. Image courtesy of the artist, Videography: Rachel McBrinn; DCA venue image, DCA; HMS Unicorn venue image, Rhys Boyle.



Art Night