In this series of films we look at the themes from the current exhibitions, including a focus on the sea and nature as inspiration and the pleasure of working with clay. All exhibition visitors are welcome to take a seat and enjoy this selection of documentary and artists’ film. Free with admission.
For August, we are focusing on contemporary filmmaker, Emma Critchley, whose work relates to themes drawn from Jessica Warboy’s work, particularly the large scale ‘Sea Paintings’ in Gallery 8.
Aria 2013, 4 mins
This short film explores connections in the way two unique practices; freediving and opera singing, involve a highly tuned awareness of breathing. The piece of music – the French composer Henri Duparc’s Soupir (c.1869) (which translates as ‘sigh’) was adapted for the recording. The filmmaker removes the words from the song, and slows down and separates the sound recording to emphasise the in-takes of breath of the singer. The final piece creates a synchronicity between the breath of the singer and the breath of the free-diver as she moves through the water.
Waters meet: Breath 2012, 3 mins
Filmed underwater, Waters meet: Breath, explores the reciprocal exchange taking place between the body and the space that surrounds it. A free-diver slowly breathes up, preparing to enter a river at the point where two waters meet. The work explores how the shift in sound and image blurs the boundaries between body and environment. Emma is interested in how our environment affects us, and the immersive space of the river is depicted here as both comfortably enveloping and randomly controlling.
Unfold, 2015, 4 mins
Jessica Warboy’s ‘Sea Paintings’ are produced through a process of immersing a canvas covered in paint pigment in the sea. We aren’t shown the performative nature of this production – the artist dragging the enormous wet canvas into the sea, but an awareness of this connection between elements, art work and artist is part of our understanding of the work. Unfold shows us a dancer, suspended from a hoop, falling through space, as the fabric that binds and holds her unravels.
Made in collaboration with Gail Jenkinson.
Emma Critchley uses a combination of photography, film, sound and installation to continually explore the human relationship with the underwater environment: thinking about this as a space that affects the mind and the body. Awards include the Royal College of Art Sustain ‘Moving Minds’ award and winner of the British Underwater Image Festival. Her work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at The Australian Centre of Photography, the ICA Singapore, The National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery and the Royal Academy. A recent commission from Opera North Projects toured to the Southbank Centre and the BALTIC Centre for contemporary art.