Collaboration with Alice Walton
This work was shot during winter 2021 lockdown. Prompted by Walton leaving her longstanding studio we made use of the space as a backdrop for re-considering ideas and material we had been unable to enact within our exhibition Together With Them She Went at Tintype Gallery 2020. The studio provided a space of focus and companionship intermittently as we devised and revisited performed gestures for the camera.
From left to right, right to left, a body enters the frame, to place images over a series of panels leant against a studio wall. A stool is scuffed across the floor into shot, a sheet of Perspex propped against it and a folded book page placed across its edge. From right to left, left to right, like a finger swiping across a screen, her hands remove and drop images into place, perfunctory, testing, looking for some connection.
The reflective surfaces of the materials onto which she choreographs the images shift and slip to reflect back a camera witnessing the activity. There appears to be a process at play; an absorption in setting up and breaking down the resonances that crisscross the screen. The movement scans across a tight frame, with only partial visibility of the body at work, of legs passing back and forwards between a number of front-on planes, like stage flats. As the images slide into play they intersect across the depth of the set, a hand reaching back to press down on a dancer’s back, the blur of a body close on to the camera.
Hands feature prominently, the repeated gestures of the intent activity, sometimes confident and smooth, sometimes teasing or hesitant; the recurring hand motif across the images, held to another’s body, gloved and pressed into the thick pile of a carpet, touching, holding, pulling. These hands call across image and plane, reaching to each other, sliding over surfaces, stroking and folding.
The space around the activity enters the frame through sounds from beyond the studio, glimpsed reflections and the apparatus of filming. A second person, out of shot, is implicated in the action, a hand caught behind the camera, clicking fingers. This correspondence between bodies in the space and the bodies in the images, the reoccurrence of object, sound and shifting light, sets up a looping monotony from left to right, right to left. With no end.