stills from Tidal Island Neil Henderson, Frost Table and Square and Mountain by Nick Collins.
Films and Poetry: Neil Henderson / John James / Nick Collins
Wednesday 1st October, 2014 at the Apiary Studios, 458 Hackney Road, London, E2 9EG.
Neil Henderson’s work has encompassed multiple projector pieces, experiments with the materiality of film and photography as well as films about landscape. His new film Tidal Island (2014) returns to the site of a circular man-made island off the east coast of England. This island was part of a trial in the early 1970s to see if fresh water could be collected from nearby rivers and stored out at sea. Seawater eventually permeated the island and the project was abandoned. Henderson’s new film of this location involves varied ways of mapping and exploring the site.
Tidal (2005, 16mm, 3’30” silent)
A film camera is modified to double expose 16mm film (the principle is similar to how standard 8mm film is exposed). A Polaroid of the sea is filmed for the duration of its development along both halves of the film. The tide comes in and goes out again.
Portrait of Evan Parker - Silver (2011, 16mm/digital, 7’)
A film portrait of musician Evan Parker with the camera placed directly below the soprano saxophone. The film examines the speed of Parker’s playing style but also the movement of light inside the instrument.
Tidal Island (2014, 16mm/digital, 14’)
Part of a wider trial to transform the Wash into a fresh water reservoir, the outer trial bank is an experimental island built in 1974 and now home to a colony of sea birds. The film examines its location, structure, and the movement of the tide around it. Sounds are natural and electronic.
'The hallmark of Nick Collins’ films is their concise poetic and observational statement that offers a space for reflection on landscape, cinema, sound and image'. (A.L. Rees). Collins has been making films since the 1970s in locations that span Cornwall, Orkney, London, Sussex, the Cévennes region in France, and Greece. Three Silent Films (Cat and Flyscreen; Early Morning; Bathroom Mirror, 2005) Garden (2009) Frost Table (2009) An Afternoon (2012) Temple of Apollo (2012) and Square and Mountain (2010) document a range of locations, from domestic spaces to exterior sites, with a lyrical sensitivity to light, movement and stillness.
Three Silent Films (2001-2005, 16mm, 7’, silent)
Early Morning, Bathroom Mirror and Cat & Flyscreen explore small areas of my domestic environment, illuminated by winter light, by turns subdued and vibrant.
Garden (2009, 16mm, silent, 2’50”) examines an area of my garden, which can be sombre or joyful. Starting with minutiae, the film works its way outwards.
Frost Table (2009, 16mm, silent, 2’) was filmed at dawn on the 1st of January 2008. It was so cold that the camera would barely turn, until the sun came up. The film is a very modest record of a moment in a place, with camera-movement making reference to the passage of days.
An Afternoon, (2012, 16mm, silent, 4’) pivots around a fine-mesh flyscreen, which divides interior from exterior and gives an almost pixel-like quality to the image. The film records the passage of a single afternoon and hints at a more expansive time-frame.
Temple of Apollo (2012, 16mm, silent, 5’50”) looks at the vestigial remains of a temple to Apollo Korynthos at Agios Andreas in Messenia, Greece. The film draws on Fritz Graf’s 2008 book on Apollo. Elements from the myths surrounding the god are found, or noticed, or suggested.
Square and Mountain (2010, 16mm, silent, 4’) filmed in a village in the Mani, Greece, was shot from a single vantage point, and explores aspects of the view this offers. The scene is explored shot-by-shot, almost as-if gridded.
'In a long and successful career John James has attracted (and shrugged aside) such tags as “avant-garde” and “Cambridge School”. Over five decades James' creative intelligence has remained restless and self-renewing, always looking to challenge itself and us, though the results have been, for the most part, eminently accessible.’
- Alasdair Patterson (Stride Magazine, 2012)
John James will be reading from Cloud Breaking Sun (Old Hunstanton: Oystercatcher Press, 2012); his Collected Poems (Applecross Western Australia and Cambridge: Salt Publishing, 2002); In Romsey Town (Cambridge: Equipage, 2011); and Songs In Midwinter For Franco (Cambridge: Equipage, 2014).