Jennifer McDonald and I are undertaking a residency at Islington Mill to begin a collaborative film project. This was our starting point:
Louise Woodcock and Jennifer McDonald are artists working predominantly in installation and performance. Sharing similar concerns, Louise and Jennifer explore concepts of gender, being particularly influenced by Julia Kristeva’s seminal work Powers of Horror. Over the past year, Louise and Jennifer have collaborated on a performance piece developing sound objects – hollow plaster ‘eggs’ that are played with a variety of tools, including bones and nails. Both artists further founded Womb – a collective of female musicians, which has up to twelve members per session.
On recently discovering the work of Derek Jarman, Louise and Jennifer are using their week in residency at Islington Mill to embark on a new film project. In their first use of film Jennifer and Louise will draw together a number of recent influences.
Having arrived back from India following a two month residency in the country’s rainforest area Jennifer will bring a selection of her research material, documentation of her travels and Indian instruments to the collaborative project. Having written her degree dissertation on the Upanishads (ancient Indian Philosophical texts) before practicing art, Louise will add a layer of history and philosophy to the project producing a rich mix of imagery and associations.
Jennifer and Louise will use the residency period to develop objects and sets for their film work. Throughout the week Jennifer and Louise will record a variety of acoustic sound, voice and instrumentation, layering the recordings upon a series of film sequences to create an intriguing interplay of audio and visual environments.
An edited version of the film will be publicly screened at the end of their residency period alongside a display of the objects, instruments and constructed sets used throughout the development of the filmwork.
We spent all day yesterday filming around Sabden, around Pendle Hill famous for witch trials. We started by just shooting anything we found appealing. As the day progressed we became more focused and began to perform and use sculptural objects we bought with us in different locations and performances. We used hair and bones in ritualistic style actions.
Jennifer and I will hold a talk tomorrow at 6pm (2 June 2011) at Islington Mill discussing our influences and our working process. The initial edit of the film will be screened on Sunday at Islington Mill. Womb will be performing a live improvisation with the film along with objects that were used.
The initial synopsis (even though we haven’t finished it and don’t quite know the outcome!):
The film features two women (the resident artists Jennifer McDonald and Louise Woodcock) in Pendle Hill, famous for it’s association with the witch trials. The characters perform ritualistically using tribal symbols including animal bones, hair and wool. The film will be displayed with sculptural objects that were used in the film and with a live improvised soundtrack from Womb.