The Cantess is an ongoing Live Art work, focussing on Social History, mythology and local identity.



mass noun

  • Hypocritical and sanctimonious talk, typically of a moral, religious, or political nature.

    ‘he had no time for the cant of the priests about sin’

  • Language specific to a particular group or profession and regarded with disparagement.

    ‘thieves’ cant’
    1. 2.1as modifier Denoting a phrase or catchword temporarily current or in fashion.
      ‘‘herstories’ rather than ‘histories’ as the cant phrase goes’


  • Talk hypocritically and sanctimoniously about something.

    ‘if they’d stop canting about ‘honest work’ they might get somewhere’

Definition as seen on Oxford Dictionaries online

This is the online presence of The Cantess


The Cantess is a creature of tales and natters. She grew out of the ‘Where’s Our Spake Gone?’ project, and represented the shop keepers and matriarchs who Cant.

In the Black Country a Cant is a long meandering chat, and the figures who unofficially hosted them were a mixture of soothsayer, agony aunt, news service and networking facility. In every community there was the shop where you could spend hours talking, sorting out problems, finding solutions and learning about ones community.


In the modern age the need for the politely nosy dispenser of advice and ancient remedies for woes is as essential as ever. Together with this online presence The Cantess will be touring the country, hosting Cants and collecting Folk-Knowledge.

To contribute to the online Cant, please use the form on the Contact page

Many Thanks!