I’ve very happy to say that, after five years since the very first frame was shot, the film adaptation of Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood’s Ness is finally finished. Started before the book was even written, the project has been on and off since late 2014 when first gaining permission to visit the famous site of Orford Ness; once a semi-fictionalised place in my mind’s … Continue reading Short Film – Ness (Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood)
Above is the trailer for my only short film this year and probably my last for the foreseeable. Thankfully, I think it will be one of the strongest and certainly all of the elements have come together nicely. The film is called Ness and is an adaptation of Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood’s upcoming short collaboration, detailing a strange, folkloric vision of the Orford Ness … Continue reading Trailer – Ness (Robert Macfarlane & Stanley Donwood)
Having already written about the Weather Words film for Caught By The River (link here), I won’t add much more about the project. For more specific details, read that piece. It’s the first and probably only film project of mine in 2018, partly due to funding problems and partly due to other big projects taking time (finishing my PhD, editing first novel, drafting second, selling … Continue reading Short Film – Weather Words (Colin Riley feat. Robert Macfarlane)
A naked man lies on a Dorset hill whilst another is painting him, quickly. Eric Ravilious is on a fleeting trip to just north of Dorchester and the war, already broken out, is on his mind. He paints the man, the land around and the humanity of the hills, quickly. The man is the Cerne Abbas Giant, a mysterious earthwork of a primitive man with … Continue reading Responses: Eric Ravilious’ Cerne Abbas Giant (1939)
As World War Two loomed, Paul Nash’s obsessions leaned towards more esoteric forms. The landscape became a fantastical entity, the realm of old magic that had already been of much interest to the artist, but one that gradually heightened as reality darkened around him once more. He moved more to photography as a medium in itself, as well as to take reference material for his … Continue reading Responses: Paul Nash’s Monster Field
I’ve written extensively about Derek Jarman’s short super-8 film, Journey To Avebury; one of his earliest experiments in film that channels so much of the genii loci of English landscapes, ubiquitous in the more interesting of English arts. His walk through the Wiltshire landscape after the intense stint of work on the sets for Ken Russell’s The Devils (1971) seems to have had a larger … Continue reading Responses: Derek Jarman’s Landscape Paintings
Throughout 2016, I’ve been trying to respond to artwork about landscape in more ways than simply essays. I found that in trying convey work that I liked, there was only so far I could go with conventional journalistic and essay writing. At the tail-end of each response article, I’ve been sneaking in a poem about the work and its themes so thought it would be … Continue reading Responses: Poems On Landscape and Melancholy
I first encountered the work of Tessa Farmer during a rainy daydream in Saatchi Gallery a few years back. It was a strange experience as, staring at her Swarm (2004) piece, it took a while to pinpoint exactly what was unnerving about the work. The discovery of a micro-agency controlling the taxidermic happenings in the form of Arthur Machen-like faeries is key to the enjoyment … Continue reading Responses: Tessa Farmer’s La Chasse (2016)
The landscape painter and augmenter, Paul Nash, had a momentary, glimpsed relationship with the Wiltshire town of Avebury. The landscape, which brims with a sense of ancientness and magic, evidently enraptured the painter for a brief spell of creative yield not simply in painting but in photography as a sideline as well. Caught in the trace images and memories of its Neolithic stone circles, its … Continue reading Responses: Avebury Photos (1933 + 1942) – Paul Nash.
It feels odd to finally be able to say that Holloway is finished. This oddness derives not just from the fact that it has been the longest planned film that I’ve produced so far (starting all the way back from Robert Macfarlane’s first email to me in February 2014) but because the subject of the film itself is never-ending. The holloways of Dorset do not … Continue reading Short Film – Holloway (Robert Macfarlane).