First Fridays are our informal gatherings/sharings, open to all. They started life as a physical place to meet up for a shared lunch followed by a live or occasionally remote presentation by an artist or group. Since May 2020 we have been gathering online which has taken away some of the social aspects but opened First Fridays up to a much wider and geographically diverse audience.
This month in honour of two years in this new format there will be two artists sharing (rather than the usual three) which should allow us more time for general conversation. Those artists are Anne Krinsky and Rowan Jacqueline – we’re delighted to welcome them.
Anne Krinsky works with paint, print, photography and video to investigate overlooked structures in the natural and lived environments. She is fascinated by the passage of time and the ephemeral nature of the physical world. Research underpins her practice and she has made installations in response to archived collections in the US, UK and India. Anne trained as a printmaker, and layering – of ideas, images and media – lies at the heart of her process.
Since 2018, Anne has been working on an international project about vulnerable wetlands and climate change in a range of river and coastal locations. She has investigated industrial wetlands in the Thames Estuary; North Sea wetlands in Terschelling, a Dutch barrier island in the Wadden Sea; and inland wetlands on the River Naab in Bavaria.
Anne’s latest research, supported by an a-n Artist Bursary, focused on South Coast wetlands in England. Her research culminated in overlapping exhibitions in Worthing on the South Coast: Anne Krinsky: Wetlands Shifting Shorelines on Worthing’s Seafront Promenade and Anne Krinsky: Fugitive, at the Worthing Museum and Art Gallery. Both exhibitions are on view until 1 May 2022.
The shows feature digital print installations inspired by wetlands Anne photographed in 2020 and 2021, including wetlands in Lymington and Keyhaven in The North Solent and in Chichester, Pagham and Portsmouth Harbours. She worked with projection, photography and digital print to create two new series of prints, specifically designed for their locations.
For the First Friday talk, Anne will share her concern for fragile wetlands, her photographic research and the process of creating both exhibitions. She says, “I wanted to share my passion for coastal wetlands before they vanish. These tidal habitats are threatened by rising sea levels and pollution. It’s heartbreaking to see the overgrowth of algae – resulting from agricultural runoff and dumping of raw sewage – engulfing South Coast wetlands.”
WTM Fugitive Exhibition Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLR9EgnSHqQ&t=6s
Rowan Jacqueline is an actor, writer and director. She holds primary focus on the development and delivery of earth-engaged performance via film and theatre through solo works.
Her research based practice has been in development since 1999, and is devoted to the progressive enquiry of the intelligent relationship between the natural world, and us, as a human race. Over time, an ultimate fascination with the principle that; body is born of the substance of earth has led to the evolution of an in-depth and precise artistic process that works to excavate, then translate the ancient and innate dialogue resting between the two. The creative process brings this shared language to life through movement and the expressive arts, while it works to preserve its essential resonance and eloquence.
As a film-maker, Rowan specialises in the genre of slow cinema where she is interested in creating immersive audience experiences inside interactive events.
Over the course of 20 years and more, a complete body of work has come into being and now offers courses and training in the UK and overseas.
A PECULIAR SHADE OF BLUE – A FILMIC STUDY ON THE NATURE OF GREIF:
For Art.Earth’s First Friday in May, I look forward immensely to talking about the artistic process behind the 6 stanza film A Peculiar Shade of Blue – A Filmic Study on the Nature of Grief, and treating audience members to a few sneak peaks.
Until then, here are a few words on the project ahead of time.
A Peculiar Shade of Blue was seeded during lockdown for Covid-19 in April / May 2020, after I’d embarked on a process of quite deep reflection around my artistic practice, along with all we, as a species face in these times, and was conceived through a combination of unlikely events. My practice needs to work in wildness or wilderness, this coupled with restrictions in place at the time (only walking allowed), meant the only place I could reach on foot if I were to undertake any meaningful exploration was also a place I had been avoiding for some 15 years, due to the fact it held painful memory. This place is Loe Bar in Cornwall, and in the end, as much as I didn’t want to go there – I could see the only thing to be done was – to go there.
The first few hours of my first visit saw a peculiar weather event take place that, I think, brought many strands of a personal and trans-personal story together in only a few moments – to seed everything A Peculiar Shade of Blue has become, yet in truth, the project still took a further 6 months of ‘play’ until it crystallised in structural form and title.
By November 2020, I had reached a place where I could see a clear body of work in formation via the footage and writing I gathered through experimentation. Experimentation means spending long hours on the land without any agenda other than to listen, enter dialogue via movement with whatever may present itself in those moments through the elements, weather, the land itself, wildlife (animal or plant) – to follow the conversation, and after digestion see how those moments translate to film, or fall onto the page in writing. There is no script, only truthful story as it emerges in those moments.
Grief was an immediate theme. We have a certain understanding of it, in the here and now, which is biased by the culture we belong to. Yet, over that 6 month period the natural world kept pushing the dialogue toward a colourful, complex language held in grief in its own right, within this, to a profound, if not, holy role in life. To see it has a specific job to do, where I found myself contemplating that this language is one that has long been forgot, yet carries far more meaning than we might ever begin to understand or give time to. As harrowing as grief can be, to the other side of the butterfly wing, there is a role of renewal. In simple terms, I found myself wanting to understand it better.
I could see a year long journey of R+D ahead where I would need to enter these realms in great detail, to enquire with an unknowing eye and be willing to listen to all and any nuances along the way.
That year cycle of R+D has recently come to an end, with 6 short films of around 15 mins each now complete in draft.
A Peculiar Shade of Blue works through slow cinema with additional focus on deep time, as I believe our relationship with grief is often dictated by human time and can thwart grief’s rite of passage. Deep time is the passing of geological time, and within the context of slow cinema this element makes sure we (as humans) get out of the way, in order to see through different eyes and so enable a more natural and innate language to flow.
The 6 films can stand alone as individual pieces, yet are designed to work together to create an overall arc. Within the context of slow cinema, my intent has been to create a vehicle spacious enough for the audience to find places of personal resonance within the piece and so enable discovery and exploration within their own story, to open out the conversation so we lift taboo and the experience of grief becomes far less lonely. Does this work?
A Peculiar Shade of Blue held its first screening as work-in-progress for a private audience on March 19th at C.A.S.T (Cornubian Arts and Science Trust) in Helston, Cornwall and was accompanied by an introductory talk, after film group discussion with a fine meal to end – which proved to be an important part of an interactive event. The films I believe, once in a cinema setting are truly immersive and are working as I had hoped and intended. The final throws of production and post production are ahead before release – within this, I am acutely aware this is just a beginning.
Offer support for this project at https://www.spiderflower.org/membership