Meet The Beggar Woman

Share this article

I would like to introduce you more formally to the Beggar Woman. She was born at Mt Franklin in Daylesford in 2009, she walked down the mountainside of the old dormant volcano and emerged as a drawing. Soon she weaved her magic upon me and words would follow. After a while I did a workshop at The Body Voice center in Footscray, the focus was in voice/ performance  and breath work with John Howard. I had the chance to find out more about her urgings there. I joined a group under the direction of Margaret Cameron, devoted to performance development works.  I had a staff, I had a sheet, I had a sense of this person who wanted to come out and play, she wanted to speak. Her initiatory performance Beggar Woman Act 1 was here in ‘The Company of Others’, a type of improvisational theater, my first foray into performance art, the beginning of a journey of experimentation of blending and melding of art forms. The story of the beggar is an ancient one, an archetypal one, with great wisdom, but also holding great revulsion and collective shadow. This is a telling from that place, there may be more,…..time will tell… what it wants……she drew from the resources of her locale  to tell……a telling.

Beggar Woman Act 1 “In the Bowl of the beggar lay the wealth of Kings”

[embedplusvideo height=”500″ width=”800″ editlink=”″ standard=”″ vars=”ytid=QaEeeiWIr5s&width=800&height=500&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep9364″ /]

Filmed at Body Voice Center, In the company of Others Footscray 2010

The next work that emerged was exploring place more directly and what arose in relation to place, place and relation. She would contemplate  many things and had me pulling over my car on the highway to take photos of images for inspiration, that I wanted to give commentary on, and write other words. The original site I wanted to film in was an old 1860’s abandoned farmyard and sheep  station just down the road, but permission was denied and I did not want to be so renegade as to risk filming there without permission. It was truly a movie set from a dream. By this time I had bridged in to the Bachelor Of Creative Arts Industries and took up Performance as my other major  and sought council form one of my teachers Chris. M question at this stage was how do I devise work? What constitutes a work ? What is performance? These same questions were also being asked of me and my work musically. I was engaged in an artistic genesis and transmutation. I knew I wanted to work with deeply archetypal materiel and the realm of mythos, and I wanted to work with words, pictures, sounds and the body, props and film. Performance art was the perfect place to tie everything together. I had always had leanings this way in my writings, so why not explore in a more embodied way my bent for playing with voices and characters, giving form to the many beings within. I was also completing my double Dip in Transpersonal Art Therapy at this time and had been researching Drama therapy and Psychodrama. I enjoyed reading about the experimentalists and Avant Garde of the 20th century and the evolution of performance.

‘Beggar Woman Walks by the waters old teaser’- contains an  excerpt of footage from Walks by the Waters movie, though the movie has different text commentary and audio, and has been edited and republished in 2014. I lost access to the files for around 2 years eventually buying a docking bay which allowed me to access the old fashioned hard drive from my first computer. this excerpt was published on 2 Nov 2012  as Teaser for Beggar Woman Walks by the River Movie and Performance art Project.

Wandering through the bush, alone, is the Beggar Woman, a crone like figure musing about life… A Site Specific Improvised performance completely unscripted, presented here with a little narration and a brief glimpse into Beggar Womans musing.

[embedplusvideo height=”500″ width=”800″ editlink=”″ standard=”″ vars=”ytid=JLiOn11wr4U&width=800&height=500&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep6342″ /]

We journey on in time to 2013 and a special project ‘Beggar Woman Wails for The World Of Women’, published on 15 Jul 2013 where The Beggar Woman appeared in support of ‘The Goddess Within’ event, a multi modal arts spectacular celebrating womanhood, inspired to action by the unfortunate atrocities of rape in India, of which many people showed a deep empathy globally. This was a fundraiser for the Art 2 Healing project an Art Therapy Initiative in the Asia region to help Sex trafficked and abused Women and Children recover and heal from the trauma they have endured. I called this work improvisation upon a theme. It allowed me to use some of the old pastel drawing I did in the late 90’s to represent the women of the world, and of course featured the symbol of the universal mother, the Earth herself, womb to all life. It was  an improvisation upon a theme, with a general sense of content and direction.

[embedplusvideo height=”500″ width=”800″ editlink=”” standard=”″ vars=”ytid=gEYs5m9yNhQ&width=800&height=500&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep3596″ /]

What is your Will towards the world Of Women? ? What way will you walk? What is worth? What words determine your way? Women is a well deep of wisdom, she is Sophia…………..the Womb, and is the world of tomorrow…….the waters show us the way….


Thanks to for permission to use the mask

Many thank you’s to the many people whom kindly donated coins to my collection from around the world, they will serve my well for years to come:)

Filming by Abirami Dhurga, thank you so much.

The Beggar Woman is an Archetypal Old Wise Woman, beggar, prophetess, full of provocative musings on the world, akin to England’s Mother Shipton, of 16th Century fame. The Beggar Woman engages in Site Specific performance Art, with some scripted elements and props but likes to make use of the time space of her local to inspire her communications. She likes to interact with Audiences We have extensive work to meet the public eye in many guises, with the aid of mixed and new media formats. Always touching on the spiritual, mythic and cultural domains, with commentary and critique on the issues that we face today. Beggar Woman is an example of how person & place, myth & meaning, art & archetype,idea & improvisation, characterisation & calling, presence & process can marry to form a sublime vessel of transformation. As an initial Symbolic representation of healing on my journey and reclamation of health, she became my teacher and continues to share her gifts with me, which we now shape together to bring you Performance Art Works. Sometimes a sublime vessel is born, a vessel for alchemical work. Such is the Beggar Woman.

We now come to her appearance on Friday at the Movie screening ‘Beggar Woman Walks by the Waters’. Beggar Woman talks to the people -pre movie screening in an improivastion upon a theme, sharing a prose poem and the elements of earth, asking of her audience to join her as she walks by the waters. Join her as she forages about the country side for food, sharing her thoughts with us, reflections on environment, futures and the lived reality of our times. A small intimate attendance  was had at my Mevlana ‘Beggar Woman Walks by the Waters Movie’ Screening on Friday the 24th of October. Beggar Woman was there in character engaging with the audience in improvisation mode upon a theme and shared a prose poem, a prophetic plea, commentary on human  and life relations, the greater web of life. This she does well. I would like you to know more about her.

[embedplusvideo height=”500″ width=”800″ editlink=”″ standard=”″ vars=”ytid=Ogp5I0tOF9I&width=800&height=500&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep6289″ /]

The Beggar Woman is passionate about our world, about women, spirituality and about relationships. She seeks to share wisdom gained, from a life lived on the fringe, with you, through live performance art and movies.

Beggar Woman was filmed at Lerdederg Gorge, Bacchus Marsh in 2012 winter solstice time. It is a site specific improvisation upon a theme. Acting Catherine Meeson Filming Catherine Meeson Narration and score Catherine Meeson ©2014 Catherine Meeson ℗2014


The movie contains the following Creative Commons Attribution samples form 147582_kangaroovindaloo_fryers forest-dawn-long- version.wav 1704626_inchadney_windy- forest

A SONIC SANCTUARY VIDEO All rights reserved © Catherine Meeson 2012- 2014

Once upon a time There were many creatures who dwelt here And then on marched time…with it the minds of men Forgetting that they too Are creatures of the earth This they create instead And they believe it is just Yet in honouring housing only themselves And that which they choose They decimate the many, the many creatures who Once dwelt her Old world new world And so the old world begins to pass away And the great change where many things will become myth Pass into memory They study with their instruments of science Seeking to discover the mysteries of creation Whilst before their eyes It passes An ephemeral trace Like the wind Yet the wind carries voices It carries the voices Of everything that ever was In the great substance That is itself ….ethereal, the great field of being. I ask now, Now that you notice, notice what is happening Care enough to change Or the change will be decided for you That hand of mercy … you may not meet So before you say all is woe It is the end Know in time tis but a trace A dream of being The human race The great race that wiped out all life. A Sonic Sanctuary Production 2014

 Narrated and minimally scored this site specific Performance art work was created by Catherine Meeson. The movie is available for purchase via mail order for $20 Australian dollars plus postage. Or screenings can be arranged followed by group dialogue on the themes raised in the work and what it evokes.


“Hi Catherine,thanks for the lovely evening on Friday.I read somewhere that art exists to give us opportunities to experience the divine, the Universal or …God.Your production gave me many opportunities to become aware of my own divine presence as witness to what is unfolding in front of me. While watchingBeggar Woman crossing the stream, I became aware of my own thoughts and judgements and eventually my own awareness.In that awareness was the experience of the formless, the vast still spacethat allows all forms to be, including Beggar woman, the steam, the rocks,the forest, my thoughts, the Universe.Thanks for your beautiful work Catherine”. Kind regards Phil

“The Beggar Woman performance & video took me on journey through many of my assumptions about people, our place in the environment, & my level of responsibility for it. I felt challenged, valued & inspired. Everyone who meets the Beggar Woman will be better for the experience. Thank you Catherine for the wonderful opportunity.” Mike

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.