I submitted a 3 minute video entitled Passing Through. Imagine my joy when I opened the email from the organisers saying my video had been accepted. It would be displayed on a screen of some sort.
The starting point for making the video was my interpretation of Odyssey as epic voyage, a long and adventurous journey.
Like all art, Passing Through is open to interpretation. For me, it speaks to my work-in-progress approach to both my arts practice and life as a whole. It also references the push/pull drama that is so much a part of living with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), the legacy of an abusive and institutionalised childhood.
The main images were already on my hard drive. I’d captured them a few months before, with my tablet’s camera, one breezy, sunny day made for day-dreaming and doodling while listening to Woman’s Hour.
My living room net curtains were billowing inwards, looking like the sails of a ship. The window-frame cast strong vertical and horizontal shadows, like a ships’ masts. It sounds cheesy perhaps, but it was a fantastic sight, quite exhilarating.
The aerial photo in the video is of Black Notley Hospital, a sanatorium in Essex where I spent two years recovering (almost) from TB spine. The cobbled-together soundtrack includes free library music and soundeffects (eg. wind, broken crockery, cracking fire).
I’m not really a film-maker, but I love playing with the basic movie-making software on my PC. I enjoyed making Passing Through so much that I haven’t made another video since. It felt fortuitous, a random, unrepeatable coming together of elements. And oh, the sense of unbelievable success when I sent it off.
I was invited to the exhibition‘s opening event in Gloucester Cathedral on January 29th 2019. It ran from 1:30 to 8:30 pm, starting with an artists’ meet-and-greet, which is arguably the most important part for artists. Why wouldn’t I jump at the chance to talk about my work?
Access. Too far, too long, too painful. Too much. I didn’t go. I couldn’t, I really couldn’t.
I received no feedback on the video, and my name isn’t on the list of contributing artists. So what happened? Maybe it wasn’t actually shown for technical or other reasons. It’s taken a year for me to pluck up the courage to contact ArtShape to ask. I emailed yesterday. Nothing back yet. I’ll keep you posted.
I sometimes wonder if it’s all just a fantasy, this art thing. But no, I checked. I do exist and the video can be viewed on Vimeo and on my website, along with other examples of my work. I’m still day-dreaming, still doodling, and still (but less often) listening to Woman’s Hour.