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CCR competition finalist 2016: Julia Child’s Legs

Julia Child’s Legs
Christy Sheffield Sanford

This language-led work was chosen for its unexpected tone of voice communicated through text-on-screen, and for its sound design and visual tracking. ~ Zata

Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 12.47.37


Julia Child’s Legs is an animated prose poem from The Hem-nal, a multimedia collaborative project with Charlotte M. Porter. The overall theme is how time, place and culture circumscribe existence. Emphasis is placed on often neglected parts of women’s lives. A persistent question is how the public versus private space is determined.
Appearing throughout the various pieces are “birds” used for centuries in literature to send omens or personify human emotion and “tongues” used in the present work to symbolize exposing taboos or intimate thoughts. A skirt that moves and blows in the wind becomes a weighted image implying how much is revealed and how much freedom is enjoyed.
I am sometimes stitching up a scene, sometimes hoping to rip out a heart. I try to free the bird and save the sequins, no matter how chipped. I need glinting light to track the beasts, uncloak phantoms that render us mute and helpless. “Hems” are a metaphor for limits placed on unexplored territory.
Photoshop and I-Movie were the basic animation programs used. The music “Toasterbottle” by Dave Howes was found at the

CHRISTY SHEFFIELD SANFORD lives three blocks from the majestic St. Johns River in northeast Florida.  Her mp4 “Awakening” is in Light Ekphrastic’s May issue as part of a collaboration with Margo Lemieux. Sanford won the recent Bacopa Literary Review cover contest, and her art was featured on the cover of Yellow Chair Issue 6 in March. Her long poem “Portrait of Yet Another Lady” is online at The Ekphrastic Review.  Sanford holds an M.A. in Creative Writing and Interarts from Antioch University and has won an NEA Fellowship in Poetry.  She is the author of seven small press books including The Cowrie Shell Piece (Baroque and Rococo Strains), Only the Nude Can Redeem the Landscape and The Hs: the Spasms of a Requiem.

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