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.
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.
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
Excited to be invited to share 'Night Walk MTV' with The Front Room in their curated section of Campfire Convention Summer Solstice World Harmony festival.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/944382825980321/
Celebrating films of 5 minutes and under - MicroMania Film Fest has much to be explored - see all the selections at https://vimeo.com/showcase/micromaniafilmfest
Operating out of Buffalo, NY - the festival is releasing works online and across social media because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Included in the selections is 'Moss'
Covid-19 restrictions caused some filmmakers to be unable to complete their films for the April 2020 edition of Visible Poetry Project. Founder of the Project Michelle Cheripka invited to make a 'Behind the scenes' film from my previous work for VPP. I decided to look back to my first film with Brittani Sonnenberg - Coyote Wedding.
It was lovely to look back over Brittani's images and poetry - and as well as explaining something of the process of making Coyote Wedding, I decided I would also make a rough and ready 'lockdown' film of Night Walk MTV. This was the first piece of Brittani's that I read, and it made me fall in love with her work. In 2018 it was hard to choose which poem to work with so it has been a delight to revisit Night Walk MTV.
And here is the original film.
Very pleased to say that my film 'Moss' (poet Natalie Whittaker) has been selected to be screened as part of the 'Breaking the Line' programme on Friday 17th April. The festival is online from Wednesday to Sunday with a different programme screening each day, available for 24 hours.
Visiting The Word in South Shields to see the installation of the Poetry + Video programme.
It all looked very professional and beautiful, the exhibition is in their ground floor exhibition 'pod'.
The outside wall has an introduction to the programme, while inside vinyl lettering lists all the titles, filmmakers and writers.
People drop-in to the space to take in the films. I chatted to the events manager - she says that typical visitors will stop and watch 2 or 3 films at a time.
All in all an excellent model for an alternative to a screening event for showing poetry film. I think this is a lovely way to dip in and out of poetry film, or perhaps discover it for the first time.
Happening this weekend - https://www.publicpoetry.net/reelpoetry/
From the website: REELpoetry/Houston TX international poetry film festival, JAN. 24-26, 2020. Screening cinepoetry, mini-documentaries, videopoems, from local, national and international poets and filmmakers, panels, workshops & more. Featured guests include Dave Bonta, founder of Moving Poems, filmmaker Mary McDonald (Canada) presenting “In Augmented Reality,” and poetry filmmaker, Sarah Tremlett (England), curator of “Uprooted.”
The programme page is here
Very pleased to say 'letter - to anyone who is listening' is being screened as a Judges selection.
The above image is from one of my favourite pieces in the programme - Our Bodies (A Sinner's Prayer) by Matt Mullins - you can read more about it here