We are delighted to announce that, as part of chalk: time, sense and landscape, the avant-garde film artist, Guy Sherwin will be showing Connemara, a film unseen for over three decades.
Made on a trip to Ireland in 1980, the 16mm film offers a long, slow meditation on time and landscape. Static shots linger and stare into the landscape and upon the traces of human activity, whilst in the quiet collision of imagery and ambient sounds, place waits, returns and repeats.
Only screened a few times in the 1980’s, in 2011 EYE Institute Amsterdam ‘took the film into their archive and restored it with great care’.
The absence of the film extends to its documentation; no extracts are available and only one film still, a low resolution, pixelated haystack.
Sherwin, who originally studied painting at Chelsea in the 1970’s, has supplied one of his own drawings as documentation.
With this new print, light returns to Connemara, as Sherwin projects and perhaps sees his film for the first time in thirty-five years.
It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the death of keynote speaker, John M. Hull.
John was Emeritus Professor of Religious Education at the University of Birmingham and Honorary Professor of Practical Theology at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education. Widely published on the subjects of religion and blindness, in 2012 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the RNIB. Born in 1935, John developed cataracts in his youth and lost his sight completely 1983. In the book Touching the Rock, John describes and reflects upon his journey into blindness, a journey that not only offers an insight into a sight less world, but also helps to extend our understanding of how the senses involve us in the world around us. In particular, John’s experience of sound and listening reveals sensual landscapes, which transform our physical and emotional presence in the world. The following is an extract from a lecture given by John in 2001 and published in Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology:
‘I learnt to listen to the sound of the rain. I can remember times when, in my study at home, I would become conscious that there was a storm going on. I would forget about my disorientated and vacated interior and would become aware of the wind, thundering upon the corner of the house, whistling through the eaves. And then I would become aware of the rain, splattering on the windowpane. I would stand up. I would press my nose hard against the window. And gradually it was as if the glass disappeared, because now my consciousness extended out from my nose pressed upon a panel of glass until it became un-conscious […] The rain had turned the light on […] And as I listened to [it fall], I realised I was no longer listening, because the rain was not falling into my ears, it was falling into my heart.’
We would like to dedicate this symposium to the memory of John and offer our sincere condolences to John’s wife Marilyn, their children and grandchildren.
The symposium will begin with a showing of the award winning documentary Notes On Blindness, made by Peter Middleton and James Spinney and based on the audio cassette diaries, which john used to ‘write’ Touching The Rock.