Jacob Whittaker: 15 Fragments; Tying Tone Arms; Panaround and Shaky
Jacob Whittaker is an installation, video and sound artist living and working in West Wales; his work explores nostalgia, music, memory and the aesthetics of sound. The films shown here document processes and activity in the studio. They provide a nostalgic look at found and faulty hi-fi equipment, questioning our sentimentality and reverence towards both music and past technology.
15 Fragments shows fragments of webcasts in one short; Tying Tone focuses on a deliberate physical constraint on the equipment; Panaround is a single long pan around the studio, cutting to details on the beat of the loop; and Shaky looks at a particular fault of an old Alba hifi found by a friend some years ago.
Poetic, unorthodox, political, humorous and unexpected, Darwin Originals is a series of eight artists' films inspired by the life, work and legacy of Charles Darwin, commissioned by Arts Admin with DVDance and Channel 4.
The films explore the artists' personal fascinations with Darwin, from the meals Emma Darwin prepared for her invalid husband, to the continent of plastic waste in today's Pacific Ocean, to Darwin's ‘thinking path' at Down House.
Bobby Baker: 'Emma' and Graeme Miller: 'The Thinking Path'
'Emma': Darwin suffered chronic ill-health for most of his life. Delving into the secrets of Victorian invalid cookery, Bobby Baker pays tribute to Emma Darwin's devotion to his well-being and, using the ingredients she finds in old cookbooks, comes up with a recipe of her own. Bobby Baker is a performance artist who, in her 35 year career, has among other things danced with meringue ladies made a life size edible cake version of her family to be eaten by visitors.
Filmed on the path where Darwin walked daily with his terrier, Polly, The Thinking Path guesses at the difficulty in resolving intellectual bravery and compassion. As Darwin walks the mechanism of evolution is crystallised in his thoughts, as is the excruciating sorrow he feels at the death of his beloved daughter Annie.
Graeme Miller is a theatre maker, composer and artist. Always reflecting a sense of landscape and place, he regularly makes site-specific works to commission.
Lemn Sissay: 'What If?' and Curious
Curious: Stretching across the northern Pacific an estimated 100 tons of rubbish, held in place by underwater currents, covers an area larger than the United States. Haunted by the grim irony of this plastic continent floating in an ocean Darwin described as filled with "...endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful", Curious ask what species will be 'fit to survive' in the new environments we are creating.
Curious was formed in 1996 by Leslie Hill and Helen Paris. Since then, the company has developed a reputation for its edgy, humorous interrogations of contemporary culture and politics.
‘What If?' is a powerful examination of the direction that ‘evolution' has taken the human race in the 150 years since the publication of On the Origin of Species. Performed in a studio with musicians Gary Crosby and Peter Edwards and contrasting views of city life with shots of the fast disappearing Arctic regions, the film asks what if we got it wrong?
Lemn Sissay is the author of four poetry collections and the editor of The Fire People: A Collection of Contemporary Black British Poets (1998).
Darwin Originals was produced in 2009 to mark the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species.
Produced by Artsadmin and DVDance
Anton Hecht: Bewick Court & Trolley Dance, Carousel & Angelus Poem
Bewick Court the Musical: Residents of Bewick Court, a tower block in Newcastle, were interviewed & their words became lyrics to be performed by them live along with musician Chris Prosho singing their experiences and feelings.
The Trolley Dance: Something Epic in the Everyday. This dance work filmed with a group of people over 50 was filmed in the market square in Darlington, in a public area usually monopolised by the young. The participants related how they felt more invisible on the streets as they aged, so the piece was devised to make the everyday experience of shopping with a trolley a positive, very noticeable and even beautiful statement.
‘Carousel' creates a ‘virtual orchestra' for the video, featuring people with little or no musical experience. By breaking a score down to individual notes it became accessible to all, before being rebuilt in the edit suite. Filmed in the Washington Arts Centre, composed by Andy Jackson. Director & Concept/Editor Anton Hecht
Angelus Septentrio: Combining movement and poetry, a poem by Kevin Cadwallender celebrating Antony Gormley's Angel of the North is illustrated by people forming the words of the poem using their bodies. ‘for the few seconds they make the word, they too become a form of living flesh public art work.