The following proposal was chosen by the commissioning panel at Plymouth Arts Centre.
Using audio material from SWFTA films, such as the Westward Diary local news programme, I will create a montage of sound to capture echoes of the past. The archive has, for example, episodes of Westward Diary featuring the narration of Kenneth MacLeod, which ran on the ITV channel in the South West from the late 1960s. I intend the sound elements to act as a springboard for exploration, filming the urban built environment in Plymouth using digital SLR technology – a Canon 5D MkII camera that produces an exquisite visual aesthetic, a hybrid of ultra-high quality still and moving images that enable the work to be viewed on a small screen and as a large-scale projection onto the exterior of buildings.
I will make a moving image artwork of 3 to 5 minutes duration which will be delivered to audiences on urban screens, including the Plymouth Big Screen, and online via Vimeo, YouTube or iTunes, and using portable devices. The film will work effectively as an installation piece, or projection where the image is foregrounded, but will also have a richly textured soundtrack to be enjoyed on headphones or during cinema projection.
I have recently been developing a personal film–making practice by focusing on the remediation of archive material through the process of digitisation, which allows for new meanings and contexts to be created. In 2009 for my postgraduate studies I made the film Sea Front from my personal archive of Super 8mm source material of Plymouth. The silent filming was mixed with contemporary, but not contiguous, sound recorded on location. Sea Front received the Trick of the Light Award from the London Short Film Festival and a Media Innovation Award in the Independent Film category. In the same year I worked with artist film-maker Kayla Parker to produce the short moving image artwork Teign Spirit which used archive material collaged with new audio and high definition digital imagery.
The Cinema City Artists’ Moving Image commission will enable me to develop my area of practice further, and to explore my connection with the city through the long–forgotten sounds of local television from the 20th Century. The audio is evocative, partly because it is very much ‘of its time’ both technically and sociologically, but also because it was produced to be heard in a domestic environment accompanying the images on the small screens of the day. The TV station was truly local to Plymouth, with its purpose–built Derry’s Cross studios situated right in the city centre – its transmissions permeating the urban landscape, but also reflecting the city back to itself.