Work

BREADROCK

FAUSTO 2 copy 2

Fourthland with Rosalind Fowler  – PEER, 23rd February -14th April  2018. 

BREADROCK is a new film and sculptural installation for PEER, by Rosalind Fowler and artist collective Fourthland (Louise Sayarer and Eva Knutsdotter). The work is a visceral homage to cultural history, memory and universal myth. Melding experimental and ethnographic filmmaking, the work presents a series of staged vignettes drawing on the rituals and artefacts of the Estate’s Bangladeshi, European, Kurdish, Serbian, Turkish, Ugandan and West Indian communities, to create new kinships, myths and culture.

Shot on 16mm film against the artists’ makeshift stage sets of textiles, paintings, and objects in a public garden on the Estate, BREADROCK manifests the inner worlds of Wenlock’s inhabitants: a Bangladeshi woman wearing her wedding dress buries a symbolic ‘umbilical cord’ in front of forty guests to mark her son’s birth; a West Indian man channels his deceased grandmother through an old-fashioned telephone and a cosmic donkey; another man surrounded by sheet music conducts an invisible orchestra and symbolic ancient rock, inspired by his love of geology; and others slowly process and gesture, holding bowls and plates aloft. The soundtrack is a composition of raw sounds improvised from domestic household objects found in a resident’s flat.

Close to the large-scale projection of the film in PEER’s street-facing space, pieces made by the artists – inspired by their exchanges with the Wenlock community – and objects belonging to residents, form an assemblage of quasi-mystical sculptures.

Fourthland have been working with the residents of Wenlock Barn since 2008, on projects connecting the land and people of the Estate. More on their work hereBREADROCK is Fowler’s first collaboration with Fourthland.

 

NowhereSomewhere (2016, 20′, 16mm and digital, sound artist: Andrej Bako)

harvesting:beetroot dye

NowhereSomewhere is a 2-screen film installation inspired by Morris’s utopian novel News From Nowhere. Fowler explores resonances between Morris’s vision and Organiclea, a food growing co-operative based in Waltham Forest. The footage, shot over the Autumn and Winter seasons is combined with fragments of gardeners reading from News From Nowhere. On a second screen, as the new growing season arrives and seeds are planted for the coming year, community members share their own dreams for an ecotopian society. The work includes 16mm film, hand-processed by Fowler at Organiclea using an ecological formula. She worked on site in a temporary film lab, and experimented with natural plant dyes to create the film.

The work was developed out of a 2015-16 artist residency at the William Morris gallery. The final piece was made in collaboration with sound artist Andrej Bako, who created a multi-channel sound piece for the installation. The installation is accompanied by Fowler’s seed packet project, through which gardeners around the Borough shared their visions for the city of the future on empty seed packets.

Solo installations of the work at William Morris gallery and Barbican, Autumn 2016, plus work shown as part of Somerset House’s Utopia season and at the Walthamstow Garden Party.

 

Tamesa (2014, 11′, 16mm, sound and compositions: Clay Gold)

walking with film

The artist searches for traces of the river Thames’ distant past by processing 16mm film on the foreshore using water collected at low tide. The experiment takes place adjacent to Battersea bridge, a site where archaeological finds suggests significant ritual activity. Images of water patterns and foreshore detritus are combined with close-up textures of pre-historic objects such as skulls and flint axe-heads discovered in the area.  Watermarks and particles of ancient river silt cling to the resultant film’s surface, their abstract formations a portal to the unseen forces at work in the river.

Exhibitions/screenings: NOW gallery , ICA, Flatpack film festival.

Nominated for Best Experimental Film Award London Short Film Festival, 2014

 

Folk in Her Machine (2013, 47′, 16mm and digital video, sound artist: Andrej Bako)

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film stills Folk In Her Machine

The film starts and ends in London and is told from the perspective of a female narrator who looks back over the archive of footage she has collected over the years on her repeated visits to two seasonal folk traditions in England, Haxey Hood in north Lincolnshire and May Day in Padstow. Her voice is interspersed with those of people she meets on her journeys, describing the significance of the rituals for them. Folk in Her Machine is a sensual film essay on the meaning of place and belonging in a global world, and a meditation on the nature of filmmaking. Shot on a combination of 16mm and digital cameras, the film is narrated by celebrated actor Jodhie May.

“With Folk in Her Machine, Rosalind Fowler has crafted a distinctive take on place, ritual and belonging, as embodied in the moving image; a personal but widely resonant work that commands attention in voice and visuals and marks the arrival of a welcome and keenly alert new talent.” (Gareth Evans, film curator, Whitechapel gallery).

Sound and music: Andrej Bako.

Selected exhibitions/screenings: PLACE: Common Grounds, William Morris gallery, Milton Keynes gallery, Plymouth arts centre, Pumphouse gallery, Fundacao Manuel Antonio da Mota, Porto. 

 

Magic, Memory, Mozambique (2012, 5′, 16mm, silent)

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Rotunda (2007, 26′ digital video, sound artist: Demian Castellanos)

Rotunda documents Birmingham’s iconic building after it was emptied out for refurbishment. It works as a kind of salvage anthropology, using visuals of the vacated building layered with sampled sounds and voices of people recounting their memories of times spent working there.

Sound and music: Demian Castellanos (the Oscillation)

Screenings: BBC Birmingham, Nordic Anthropological Film Festival, 7″ cinema, Birmingham.

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What Lies Below (2015, 17′, 16mm and digital, sound and compositions: Clay Gold) 

armscrossed

Set in 2054, a time when soldiers have been programmed to forget their actions and robots command the front line of war, a mother reads to her daughter from a notebook written in 2015 while she was still working as a military psychologist. Recounting the dreams of soldiers, she reflects on the impact of killing on the human psyche and the inevitable technological advancements that led to a complete denial of conscience.

New short funded by the Wellcome Trust in partnership with No.w.here and the BFI