I had a play with the projector today. Not really sure I feel about these works yet, they’re still far too fresh for me to form an opinion of them. There are elements I’m really happy with though, primarily the physicality created by the projection. It really has been a struggle for me working so digitally and having everything on a screen, but even though these are images projected from a laptop, they reclaim the physical. They also take away the perfection of an on-screen image as the distortion was a key concept to them and something I generally find very appealing.
I also really like the way in which the projector has saturated the colour, it’s created a kind of pastel rainbow which I think brings a real sensitivity to the images. Completely unintentional but I am in no way complaining! It is often the accidents that create the best works!
I think they’re quite playful works. But then that may be because I know the root of their content. These images are stills taken from a film of a performance I did. Wow that’s quite a sentence there isn’t it? How many mediums have I crossed to create these?! I guess in a way these works are the combination of all my other works layered together. It’s a build up to an endpoint almost like the layering of paint on a canvas. The painterly mindset really hasn’t left me despite technology being the current basis of my work. I’ve decided film is really not for me though. I’ve tried and I’ve pushed it. But as my films are merely experiments, almost like a digital sketchbook, they don’t work beyond the moment in which I created them. When I watch them I instead think in stills, which is why I am able to draw out the moments that convey what I am trying to depict so easily.
For me it’s still very important to maintain a sense of ambiguity in my work which is why I’m not really explaining anything here. I don’t want to and I don’t need to. I don’t want everything about my art laid out on a plate. An image should be able to stand for itself. And I think these experiments are a perfect demonstration of that. Only I know what exactly went on and how I got to this point, but the viewer is free to interpret it as they will.
I went to see ‘Suffragette’ yesterday and I think it’s safe to say it is a film you cannot afford to miss! It is truly truly brilliant. It is incredibly well cast – Carey Mulligan and Helen Bonham Carter do not disappoint! I was however worried that by using such well established actresses, the film would be overshadowed by their star status. Thankfully this is far from the case. Their star status is almost consumed by the film’s sheer brilliance; their positions in the acting world are irrelevant! To my surprise Meryl Streep features incredibly briefly as Emmeline Pankhurst, whilst the main character is in fact the fictional Maud Watts. I’m not sure how I feel about a fictional character playing the lead, as I felt it took away the film’s historical credibility. Yet at the same time it works so perfectly. By using artistic license to create a made-up character who the entire film revolves around, it does in fact highlight the lives of all ordinary women at the time. Everyone knows the story of the Pankhursts. Everyone knows the Suffragettes were extreme. What people don’t know is the side stories of every woman involved. And every woman affected by the changes. And I suppose this film is designed to highlight that.
Not only is the film an incredible feminist piece (no surprises there), it is also beautifully artistic. The cinematography features an almost ridiculous amount of extreme close ups, yet as a viewer you feel you would be lost without this intensity. We look straight into the eyes of characters, see the shadows forming on the tears rolling down their cheeks. There is no escape from the emotional intensity of this film. A lot of the filmwork is also done using the handheld technique, which only amplifies the chaos you are experiencing as a viewer, particularly during scenes of riot and political unrest. Another thing I loved about the filmwork was the constant switch between being sharply in focus and being so blurred you can only make shapes out. It is incredibly effective as it really draws you into the film and the experience’s of the characters. The director Sarah Gavron has in my opinion, created quite a masterpiece. The Suffragettes would be very proud.
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