Next week I've been invited to be guest speaker on this Arvon Foundation course. I'll be talking about my work in poetry film with hybrid and brevity as my keywords for the evening. As of today there are a last few spaces still up for grabs.
The description of the course for the week sounds fab:
"... Without sacrificing depth, richness, story or meaning, we will examine and probe the tiniest works made of words – whether as prose, poetry or other shapes – and take inspiration from other miniatures across all fields, from the microscopic in science and art to the briefest of films and pieces of music, to create our own. Together we will approach the very small from many different angles, cutting down to it, working up to it, weighing it to feel every word, every pause and punctuation mark, discussing what is needed, what can be let go. Come join us in praise of the petite. "
And its in person, and residential at The Hurst, in Shropshire - the one-time home of playwright John Osborne. I can't wait.
7pm Friday - 22nd October - an online event as part of the 2021 Big Poetry Weekend
Helen Dewbery is going in search of the perfect poetry film. And is showing a clip of my work! Thank you Helen :)
September 2021 at Espacio Gallery, Shoreditch - some snaps
So pleased with how the (dare I say it) halfway (?) staging post of 'Because goddess is never enough' film looked in Espacio Gallery. And also pleased with the reiteration of Space Negotiations. Time now to reflect and push each piece onwards and upwards to their next development.
Also it was a brilliant week with the other artists involved in Osmosis - support, conversation and companionship - thank you Tom Hackett, Julian Woodcock, Robert Good, Belinda Mitchell and Eileen White.
So many thank yous for all who have helped so much in getting me this far with 'Because goddess is never enough'.
Not least and including the curator for Osmosis Ahmed Faroqui, my mentor Rosalind Davis, and Will Cross and Sarah Brown and their generous and equal obsessions and interests in Tilly Losch.
And of course, none of it would be possible without my wonderful writer and performer Rosie Garland, dancer Natasha Jervis and voice performer Alison Glennie.
Supported by my Arts Council England Develop your Creative Practice Award.
Six artists working at the intersection of language, place and materiality have been invited by Degrees of Freedom to catalyse the spaces at Espacio Gallery as sites for experimentation and real time exchange.
The artists are: Jane Glennie, Robert Good, Tom Hackett, Belinda Mitchell, Eileen White and Julian Woodcock.
An openness to external phenomenon characterises the works in the show, permeated as they are by the physical, social, emotional and virtual terrains that they investigate. These terrains are often transcribed by the artists into text, sound, image or movement to create the possibilities for new meanings and resonances.
Jane Glennie is a filmmaker and typographer. She makes visually rich, painterly and dreamlike poetry films composed of a ‘blizzard’ of still photographs. She is interested in the choice of detail and the nuances of relative hierarchies and emphasis between things – words, objects, materials, sounds, and images.
Robert Good is based in Cambridge UK and works with text to explore the problems of knowledge and the limitations of language. His work critiques the systems and structures of both analogue and digital landscapes, using both books and bytes as source material.
Tom Hackett works with places, spaces and situations to gather conversations and other stuff to reconfigure into physical, text and audio works. His work is generated by reflection and enquiry into the constitution of ourselves within systems of language, verbal interchange, culture and social grouping. Collaboration is key to his practice
Belinda Mitchell’s teaching and research focuses on ways of contributing to the built environment that includes process as well as product, everyday actions, exchange through conversation, drawing, making and thinking.
Eileen White is an artist using sustainable analogue and alternative print processes alongside slow physical methodologies to materially witness historical sites. Uncovering narratives relating to places, she describes absence and time as well as questioning our accelerating loss of the human sensorium and our growing distance in relation to the rest of the non human world.
Julian Woodcock makes art with a diversity of media and a varied approach. Work sometimes incorporates words or audio and may also include moving image or the performative. He is interested in the durational aspect of work and combinations of different linguistic modes, exploring the crossovers between art, writing and music.
I am so thrilled and a little overwhelmed to be included in Sarah Tremlett's book 'The Poetics of Poetry Film'. I'm alongside so many of the 'names' of the genre that I need to do a double take each time I take a peep.
Published by Intellect Books - the blurb says 'The first book of its kind, it classifies the different types of poetry film, shedding light on the fast-growing genre and citing works from poetry filmmakers worldwide. A ground-breaking industry bible for anyone interested in poetry, digital media, filmmaking, art and creative writing as well as poetry filmmakers'
It's official publication date is - 1st June!
The 2021 lockdown restrictions have thrown out my intended plan of work on my project. The photographic studio I found was closed, the sound recording was closed and I felt this project was so much about a human, a dancer, that I was very wary of going too far without working on photographing the body. I stalled ...
However, discussing the photographic sessions with the studio made me think about using studio flash. I've always restricted myself to daylight photography, thinking that any kind of studio flash was out of my reach and impractical. But I completed an excellent Skillshare online course on using off-camera flash in order to learn the concepts of flash photography (I had previously only used studio lighting on a City & Guilds photography course many years ago, and I think that was with static lights not flash). I bought a relatively inexpensive Speedlight for my Nikon and I've been playing.
The manual settings are so straightforward (at least when you are going for a trial and error approach) that I wish I had tried this years ago. The flash power is just another factor to adjust to get the right amount of light on the subject - in conjunction with aperture, ISO and so on. And the consistency over daylight is just so fantastic because I am repeatedly photographing the same thing over and over.
It is an unexpected outcome, but this is certainly developing my creative practice - so thank you to the Arts Council and the DYCP award. It is already making a difference.
The photography studio is now open again and I'm going for an induction later this week. Then I will plan the session with the model - and I've got more options than I would have had. I'm feeling nervous, but its another step into something new which is exciting.
Oh … Premiere Pro … how do I get frustrated by you … let me count the ways …
Working on single films I had pushed and pulled and screamed, and got to a happy method of working with Premiere that enabled me to combine and layer my sequences of images. Now I’m building up the ground work for a series of ten films, I (possibly mistakenly) tried to tidy up and organise my folders by deleting temporary and render files.
Aaagh! Premiere started to endlessly give me error messages.
OK .. now what to do. Will I fall at the first hurdle? Clearly too risky to carry on with my current workflow. I use so many thousands of images that the software or my system is not going to work when I multiply this by 10. So I had to find a new way of working.
Thankfully (for now at least) I have solved the issues and Premiere and I are friends again. It has been a reminder that however much it is important to learn to focus on my creativity and the journey not the outcome, there will also always be the technical or practical problems along the way. I’m quite good (I think) at solving those and I’m not failing if I concentrate on them for a bit. They will always be a necessary part of that journey.
My positive from 2020 was working through the year with a mentor - Rosalind Davis - through the a-n Mentoring Programme. I have written about this experience on the a-n website
My goal was to build my own confidence and to challenge myself to build a body of work. The project evolved and changed throughout 2020 as the pandemic brought in restrictions and challenges. And I certainly didn't get as far as I'd hoped. However I think this constant refining of my project and focussing in on the essentials was ultimately no bad thing (as frustrating as it was along the way). By the autumn I had clarity and a clear plan, and put together my application for an Arts Council Develop Your Creative Practice grant. At Christmas I heard I was successful. An amazing ending to the year!
So now ... 2021 - the project takes shape and really can get underway. The funding will mean I can be a little more ambitious with the production, and more importantly work with collaborators and be able to pay them. I am collaborating with an amazing writer - Rosie Garland, and we are creating a series of ten 60-second films inspired by the life of 1930s dancer Tilly Losch. We are looking at the creative credibility and equality of women - thinking about how far we've come in 90 years, and yet how far we've still got to go.
Because goddess is never enough.
There is an online program, and there will also be a program with live streams during the festival days: The festival will officially open on October 22nd at 6 pm with the special program "Focus Africa". The award ceremony will start on Saturday, October 24th, at 6 pm (CET).
Proud to say that Blue Flash Flash will be shown again as part of the special program: WINNERS OF THE WEIMAR POETRY FILM AWARD 2016-2019
The festival will be happening as an online screening event. Please check their website for the latest details. https://www.artlitlab.org/events/midwest-video-poetry-fest-2020
As of writing this post - the details for the online event have yet to be updated from the originally planned 'in real life' festival.
Moss - poem by Natalie Whittaker - published by Ignition Press