Liquidity
Film programme for the Water: Image international conference
4 - 6 July 2012, Roland Levinksy Building, Plymouth University
Frame taken from short film of water bubbling up through the sands of Morcambe BayStill image from The Quick and the Dead by Patricia Townsend (2008)
Water: Image is a conference to celebrate the 10th year of summer symposia organised by the research group Land/Water and the Visual Arts. Land/Water consists of artists, writers and curators who embrace a diversity of creative and critical practices. As a research group, it operates as a forum for interrogation of nature and culture, aesthetics and representation; questioning imagery and practices relating to land, landscape and place is central to our ethos.

There are nine short films in the Liquidity programme, made by members of the Land/Water and the Visual Arts research group with Plymouth University, and associated artists. The programme was curated by Kayla Parker, who introduced two screenings on Friday afternoon 6 July 2012 as the closing event of the Water: Image conference in the Jill Craigie Cinema.

Seeside
David Hilton
2012 / 6min 50sec
Beginning with a boat trip across Plymouth Sound, Seeside explores a muse of time and tide through an imagined and archive film journey.

The Quick and the Dead
Patricia Townsend
2008 / 2min 47sec
Water dances with a natural energy, as a hidden force seems to pull it under the surface of the sand. The camera holds us as the soundtrack accentuates our sense of instability and imminent danger, transfixed by this elemental phenomenon.

February
Sally Waterman
2011 / 2min 32sec
Composer: Donna McKevitt (Warner Classics, 1998)
Taken from Translucence (based on Derek Jarman’s writings)
Shot during the catamaran journey across the Solent, from Portsmouth to Ryde, Isle of Wight, to attend the funeral of a family friend. On the journey, the rise and fall of the waves, together with the shifting focus between the distant sea and the droplets of water on the windowpane, becomes representative of the artist’s confrontation with loss.

Looking West Looking East
Caroline Burke
2012 / 4min
This split-screen film was shot through windows of the hotel where the artist stayed on her visit to Shanghai, and continues the artist’s ongoing interest in the liminal spaces where land meets bodies of water. In Looking West Looking East, her focus is the massive Huangpu River that cuts the city in two: on the left hand screen we see the west bank of traditional culture and the past, and on the right the glittering high rise of the twenty first century financial and commercial district.

Glass
Kayla Parker
2010 / 2min 30sec
Macro and microscopic animation of glass fragments, gleaned from the bladder wrack and briny debris along the strandline of Stonehouse Pool beach in Plymouth, the salty lozenges are smoothed by the movements of the sea and uncovered by the waves at low tide. Touch and sight intertwine as the camera feels its way through a miniature dance in embodied time and space.

Love Brid
Susan Collins
2009 / 3min 32sec
Commissioned by Animate Projects for the Sea Change initiative
An animated postcard, sculpted from series of photographic stills, a loving tribute to the timeless charms of the seaside, and a colourful rollercoaster ride through the coastal town of Bridlington (Brid) in North Yorkshire and its many unique attractions, recorded on location over a few days in August 2009.

Berlin
John Sealey
2007 / 7min 13sec (special edit for Liquidity)
Influenced by the practice methodology of the photographer Robert Häusser, Berlin explores the history of the African diaspora in Germany. Seeped with overlaying timeframes, the film articulates the inner state of the film-maker who frames the view, and is a poetic reflection on being black and German in Berlin, a landlocked city built from a swamp.

Certain Degrees Below
Heidi C Morstang
2007 / 5min 4sec
This exquisite 16mm film features a monochrome landscape of sea and islands, a landscape where man exploits nature reserves and nature acts within its equilibrium. Certain Degrees Below was developed in 2007, on the Western coast of Norway where the oil tanker Server was shipwrecked 12th January 2007 and 370 tons oil and diesel spilled. Due to the storm when the shipwreck took place, the oil spread quickly along the coast, and affected the bird reservoir on the island of Herdla.

Petrolia
Emily Richardson
2005 / 20min
Sound: Benedict Drew
Petrolia takes its name from a redundant drilling platform sat in the Cromarty Firth and portrays the changing architecture of the oil industry along the Scottish coastline, where oil and gas supplies are predicted to run dry in the next forty years. The film is a fluid interaction between landscape and population, sea and machine. Shot on 16mm film, using time lapse and long exposure techniques, giant oil platforms begin to resemble organic forms and our sense of scale is gradually eroded.

Programme running time: approximately 55 minutes

Thanks: all the film-makers, the conference organisers, the Faculty of Arts Research Office, Animate Projects, Stuart Moore, Craig Whyte and Clive Jones.