Wednesday, 29 December 2010

VHS nostalgia

A short test video collaging nostaligic film that was recorded on vhs by my parents when I was a child.
I focused mainly on the adverts inbetween the films and programs that were desired to be watched again and again.
This example video is in colour but I had to re-record a lot of material because I realized after sitting through about 10 hours of vhs tapes that the lack of colour in the recordings was due to an oversight of recording options (d'oh!). Both the black and white and the colour versions have advantages so I'm not sure if I want to carry on creating these videos in black and white or in colour.
But the recording a static paused image and recording while rewinding and fast forwarding brings the exact scrambled quality I've been looking for in my search for suitable representations of memory.

It's definite I'll continue making these video's as I still have a stack to get through in search of a certain very 90's advert involving skeletons that I keep remembering. Hope its on one of them somewhere.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


I was thinking about the mechanics of memory recall being a lot like a lake of dissolved images and experiences. The water undergoes changes that alter the chemical composition of its contents in every moment that passes; and the different catalysts of these reactions come from the environment. Bonds are made between chemicals in the lake to form images and substances that rise to the surface until the moment passes and their chemical bonds are broken and they dissolve back into the deep.

In response to this thought; using latex, pva glue and ink I've been trying to create small pool like sculptures that encase items of personal nostalgia.

I photographed the sculptures both with the items still encased and after I ripped them out as I can't decide yet which works best. The frustration of inaccessible objects or the mournful shell of the object? I definitely want to increase the scale of this work perhaps by creating larger casts or by making many small casts and sewing them together like a huge nostalgia tapestry or blanket that echoes the biological and cells.

I've also been experimenting with coloured inks in the pva glue just to see what happens and I've been left with a rather psychedelic result.

Monday, 13 December 2010

This is a short film which doesn't seem like it took a year to make but I can assure you it did. In some part this is because of the actual length of time I had to sit around with the camera filming but mainly because I've been editing it sporadically since last christmas instead of just working on it solidly for a day or two once I'd collected all my footage.
Anyway, this video is something I've had in mind for a long while, as I do a lot of viewing, contemplating and painting cloud formations and their relationship of conflict with the land and society below them.
I maintain that they deserve far more respect and attention than they receive and I'm certain this will be a lifelong project of work for me.

(Sorry about the poor quality. I'm really angry that Blogspot can't handle HD. What is THAT about like?)

Thursday, 2 December 2010


I have also been working on a continuous archiving piece for my work with personal memory.
I've always felt that the sensation of smelling the familiar is far more evocative of memory than any photograph of an event or even visitation to a place where certain memories occurred.

And so I've been collecting and concocting scents that trigger personal memories and until I found this lovely drinks cabinet to display them in a domestic context they've just been sitting on my desk.
The thing is, that in this desperate pursuit of archiving, where I am constantly smelling familiar scents and improving their presentation, potency etc I'm actually starting to become desensitized to the scents. Each time I smell one it's like indulging in a personal film reel or slide show but the more I do this the more I dilute their power of recall.

I need to continue and build my archive of odours in preparation for a show in February during which I hope to film people's experience of the piece. So far I've seen that its interactive quality could potentially become video as well.

The presentation of each scent inside the jars is also something I need to refine as well as the position and presentation of the piece as a whole. The size and exterior of each can connote to many things.

On a side note, I thought my USB harddrive broke today, turns out it was just the cable but my blood ran cold for the few minutes where I thought I'd lost basically half my work from the last 4 years. That's definitely something to think about in terms of archiving.....