Her dark materials: conjuring the feminine imaginary
Living Film: Films, Installations and Performances
no.w.here, 3rd floor, 316 - 318 Bethnal Green Road, London E20AG
Wednesday 16 October 2013 7pm
Video essay which reflects on which reflects on the artist's engagement with film materiality and the materials of film-making. Includes extracts from direct animation artworks, documentary ‘making of’ material, and documentation of live performance with film.
Filmed and edited by Stuart Moore; production: Sundog Media
Duration: 15 minutes
16mm frame from footage shot by Jacqui Knight of me operating Tony Hill’s projector, hand processed in James Holcombe’s CineStar film-making workshop in St Ives (May 2013)

Each material loop of space-time, telling and knowing, woven through its link to a maternal other, continually in process, making and unmaking.

As an artist, I’ve worked with the materiality of film for over 20 years. I have a relationship with film as a physical substance, that is embodied yet ‘other’ to my own body. The film-body is sensitive and responsive to its environment, and affected by histories and contexts, recording traces of experience and residues of place as ‘physical memories’ through direct animation image-making.

Her Dark Materials from Sundog Media on Vimeo.

My early transgressive engagements are characterised by physical inventions focused within the space of the photographic moving image frame and the creation of temporal rhythms along the filmstrip. The marking of the emulsion layer through scratching, scraping, rubbing and colouring in Looks Familiar (1989) and Nuclear Family (1990), attempts to recover meaning from memory by drawing in miniature directly on the surface of 16mm film - like the wax crayon and scratch pictures I made as a child.

Unknown Woman (1991) evolved from a dream of a woman and a crow, and is the first of a group of three 16mm films that are ‘directed by the unconscious’ and explore subjectivities of the feminine landscape. Cage of Flame (1992) is the second, Walking Out (2000) the third.

Night Sounding (1993) is an audiovisual ‘sounding’ of liminal place. Working with the larger palette of 35mm, Sunset Strip (1996) forms a visual diary of a year of sunsets.

The looped artworks of recent years, such as Verge (2005 - 2011), Poppies (2006), Hold (2008), Heirloom (2008), and Flora (2011) use black and clear film material to evoke embodied space-time experience in relation to place and the materiality of memory, and are presented in a range of iterations. Another, more performative, strand of practice, gives agency to the maternal body in the projects such as Resubjection (2008), Measure (2009 - 2010), and the durational film-sewing of STITCH (2012).

Her Dark Materials at Living Film: photo Copyright © Luke Pickering 2013

16mm frame from Verge: Flux
See LIving Film programme