I have never seen Barry Flanagan’s short video piece, Hole In the Sea (1969), yet I’m not quite sure if I ever quite want to. The short piece, filmed by Flanagan with Gerry Schum in Holland for a Land Art TV exhibition, currently exists in colour and in black & white, contained variously in the Pompidou archive in Paris and the Stedelick Museum in Amsterdam. … Continue reading Responses: Hole In The Sea (1969, 1970), Barry Flanagan
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
“Once I loved a man who was a lot like the desert, and before that I loved the desert.” – Rebecca Solnit (2006). Late last year, I quite accidently combined the viewing of two films that spoke of a theme I have become interested in over the last few months. Viewing Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point (1970) followed by Dennis Hopper’s debut as a director, The … Continue reading Sex and the Landscape in Zabriskie Point (1970) and The Last Movie (1971)
I was initially struggling to put together a showreel for 2016. I don’t think my film work has ever been so reliant on its varied soundworlds for their full context and so pulling the strongest images out of that context doesn’t quite work. I’ve tried my best to make something vaguely cohesive from these moments though, looking back at the five films I’ve made this … Continue reading Showreel 2016
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
At the recent Alchemical Landscape conference in Cambridge, there was some interesting analysis of the portrayal of landscape in the opening sequence of Alan Clarke’s Play For Today episode, Penda’s Fen (1974). The point in the analysis was to show the subversive nature of the opening in regards to its melding of two potentially differing realities of English landscape; on the one hand, the typical pastoral … Continue reading Wire and Grass: Landscape Binaries in Television and Reality.
“My mother lives in the windy Orkney Islands. It’s certainly a wonderful place to be brought up in.” – A Portrait Of Ga In making a short film about her mother, the experimental filmmaker, Margaret Tait, essentially drew upon an interesting dialectic between place and youth. With 1952’s A Portrait Of Ga – a 4 minute short, shot on 16mm and with a voice-over by … Continue reading Place and Youth in Margaret Tait’s A Portrait Of Ga (1952).
While Andy Goldsworthy’s work has a general theme of transience running through its core, it is perhaps best summarised in his use of ice within sculpture. Though almost everything the artist does has a brief lifespan as a finished object, there are few that seem so precarious as the ice works, specifically his various ice arches. For this article, the ice arch in question is … Continue reading Responses: Andy Goldsworthy’s Ice Arch (1982).
The Menhir Motorway is the first film of 2016 and it should set the tone for the rest of the year’s projects. Having filmed in late December, a mere few days before Christmas in the freezing edge-lands of Wallasey on The Wirral with the help of my girlfriend, Lauren (who took all of the proceeding digital photos of the shoot), the film has been gently … Continue reading Short Film – The Menhir Motorway.
British cinema is obsessed with the effect of location upon the individual. In fact, it wouldn’t be so sweeping to suggest that large swaths of culture born on these isles stems from the idea that the individual can be deeply molded by their surroundings and any fictional drama from Albion will be bare the aesthetics of its areas as far more than a setting. While … Continue reading Fear And Loathing In The Countryside – Withnail And I (1987).