DE RIVA MUMMA – INCUBATED stems from the seed of an idea that first arose during a creative afternoon on the Jasmin Vardimon UK Summer Intensive 2019, and was subsequently scratched and performed as a ten minute solo at Groundwork Pro’s 2019 Groundspace Bonanza. In this, Krystal embodied the movement language of a mermaid and shifted its forms of expression to subvert and rebel against expectations of female beauty (that are typically projected onto a mermaid). 

Having missed the opportunity of a research and development grant to develop this idea because of Covid19, Krystal used part of her Arts Council Wales Individual’s Stabilisation Grant to flesh out and unravel the themes emerging in this work, tasting new ideas for building content. In the lockdown conditions this largely happened from her small one-bedroom flat, but as restrictions eased, Krystal was able to steal a handful of studio hours in the last few weeks of this period. Groundwork Presents provides a public platform to share some of the ideas and themes that emerged during this time.

You are warmly invited and encouraged to leave any comments, thoughts, questions about the work via email to:



Further material to accompany the film…


Storyboard by Ruth Stringer, Set and Costume Designer

During discussions with Ruth, historical methods of attaining cultural standards of beauty came up, and their often gruesome effects on the female body, such as foot binding, which deformed feet, using harsh chemicals and powders to whiten the face, resulting in blisters and burns on the skin, and rib-crushing corseting, which caused organs to become misplaced within the body. There was an overarching theme of having something external placed upon the female body with the intention of containing it, and shaping it to meet an expected aesthetic. We identified how this can be seen and experienced more subtly, but ever prevalently in modern, western ideas of beauty, with tight fitting, restrictive womens’ clothing.

Considering and playing with this notion of being bound alongside probing further into the black woman’s experience of living in a culture saturated with eurocentric beauty ideals, a key theme of transformation became apparent and pressing. We resolved to move forward with the idea of set as costume and costume as set, one influencing the other and changing form by cause and effect. This storyboard is an offering of how Ruth sees what we had discovered and tried out coming together, and will act as a template going forward into the next stage of research and development.



Audio recording, by Krystal Dawn Campbell

Transcript in English: click here 

This audio contains a selection of soundbites extracted from one of many conversations with predominantly Wales-based black women on their experiences of their image and beauty.

Please feel free to share any thoughts or responses. (





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