Graduated from Wimbledon College of Art
Selected by Ambrosine Allen
Song of Farewell, 2007
'Song of Farewell' (2007) is a digital video projection with sound, which uses slowed footage of starlings roosting on a deserted, out-of-season rollercoaster at the end of the day. This was edited into sections within a cyclical loop structure which echoes the rollercoaster structure, as well as the repetitive flight patterns of the birds and seasonal / temporal cycles. The sound for this piece was created from the end-static on a vinyl record, which is another loop within the piece - an ending without end - and is aurally suggestive of the beating of wings or the sound of train-tracks. It provides an analogue component to the work, creating a dialogue with the digital footage.
In this and other works dialogues are constructed between the temporal and atemporal, between the analogue and digital, and the still and moving. Working methods can encompass a plurality of mediums and processes.
Temporal manipulations are at the core of the practice - among which the animated photographic: physical mementos of lived, mediated experiences become metamorphosed into transitional movements of light and colour.
Memory, time and duration delineate the works; reflective and perhaps autobiographical, they demarcate a time; a dis-location; a[nother] place.
'Song of Farewell', a large video and sound projection depicts the movements of hundreds of birds (starlings) as they roost on what appears to be an abandoned or out-of-season rollercoaster. The birds are constantly in flux, creating repetitive, animation-like flight patterns on the screen. The imagery is accompanied by an unsettling audio track with almost heartbeat like vibrations and beats that confusingly, could represent any part of the movements on screen.
I was left with a poetic sense of dislocation and temporal confusion. There were clearly cycles (not only the behaviour of the birds but the video itself and sound is looped) but I was never quite able to stay with them. Something old fashioned and unusual about the tones and scope of the shot seem to bypass the present and set up intercession between past and future action. At first it seems like the film was made at dusk but then, perhaps it's sunrise and whilst the rollercoaster placed me somewhere near the sea I was unable to sense which country or even continent I was in. This is a no-man's land, 'another' place that manages to be timeless.
What remained with me long after the viewing was the power of a mediated experience, a sense of repetition, time and duration. In this piece all these components are mysterious and therefore reflective. The birds movements eventually became simple patterns of sound light and colour and personal memory mingled with the memory of the piece. I felt a sense of nostalgia that bordered on the 'ideal'. I think it's the long, slow, gaze of the artist's camera that allows you to relate so completely to the image she projects.
(Ambrosine Allen, 2007)
Qualifications and training
- 2007 MA Fine Art, Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London
- 1995 BA Fine Art, Bath School of Art and Design, Bath Spa
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