Installing with projection

The ‘first Draft’ installation can be seen on this video

Setting up an installation using two types of looped video.  One displayed on a flat screen, the other by projection.


1st set up –  the projector placed next to the flat screen so that the images were opposite each other – using an informal screen of muslin. The films are different in  nature so there are contrasts with the method of display.


The reverse view shows the projection through the porous screen of hung muslin.


This set up also allowed the projection to spill and stretch onto the side wall.


Double layer of muslin doubles, but weakens the images. the laptop screen and flat screen TV adding to the multiple image.


Finally, inserting a mirror into the installation – pinned onto the muslin, distorts and breaks the images further.


The  installation develops the theme of the Border project and incorporates some work completed earlier.

The ‘first Draft’ installation can be seen on this video

Border Stories video edit

The second film I have completed for the installation this week is a re – edit and an extension of some footage shot along the river Tyne at Bardon Mill. It includes varying sound, cutting in and out emphasising the moving water, when the sound drops, the river appears to slow. I have added extra footage recorded at strange stack of stones, the remains of the Roman bridge ramp at Corbridge – I photographed them before in the mist emerging from their past.  In all cases the camera is still and the images are fixed with movement created but cutting from view to view and with the movement of water or leaves against the stones.  There are two border songs read as poems chosen for their relevance to the idea of river and history as border, separation and barrier, written about here. The voice for Water of Tyne is Karen Sikora, my colleague at Northumbria and for Border Ballad the voice is my sister in law Susan Pym, a exiled Scot living in London.

Borderline Thoughts – first video edit

Using Adobe premiere pro to create a new film from footage shot at the English Scottish Border at Easter – this is a first rough cut.  I am dropping the sound, the wind, except where the cars pass to emphasise the ‘thoughts’ which are graphic questions that appear with the vehicles – as if they are the thoughts of the occupants.  The questions are found text from personal questions that people ask each other, but also refer to the border question.  Some of these questions or statements come from Scottish and English politicians

Border Ballad

The film is being made for forthcoming trial installation. I want some sound – so  I am using two complimentary border folk songs.  The first, Waters of Tyne,  I ‘collected’ from Hexham Library – recorded in this post.  I need a compliment from the Scottish tradition.

The Border songs and ballads have a romantic veneer.  Romance in terms of the emotions portrayed but also a minor glorification of the historical violence of the border.  This was codified in the first half of the 19th century –  ‘Walter Scott (1771-1832) was the first to attach cultural-historical significance to the border ballads.’

Scott repurposed marching songs and made up some of the ballads to contribute to his purpose of Scottish cultural creation.

I need  Scottish and English readers now.

Border Ballad by Sir Walter Scott

Arch, march, Ettrick and Teviotdale,
Why the deil dinna ye march forward in order!
March, march, Eskdale and Liddesdale,
All the Blue Bonnets are bound for the Border.
Many a banner spread,
Flutters above your head,
Many a crest that is famous in story.
Mount and make ready then,
Sons of the mountain glen,
Fight for the Queen and our old Scottish glory.

Come from the hills where your hirsels are grazing,
Come from the glen of the buck and the roe;
Come to the crag where the beacon is blazing,
Come with the buckler, the lance, and the bow.
Trumpets are sounding,
War-steeds are bounding,
Stand to your arms, then, and march in good order;
England shall many a day
Tell of the bloody fray,
When the Blue Bonnets came over the Border.

Ovingham Cabins


I walked past the cabins at Ovingham, they are like little frontier cabins cut out of the forest and domesticated by neat borders, planted flowers, and sense of small plots of private property.

The soft focus of the hand held Ensign camera, this time using blue biased Fuji colour film, produced a nostalgic feeling. Time lost through colour inaccuracy – this was hand developed in the University dark room….


I also shot a black and white film of a single cabin just up a separate track away from the main group:

Complete with its own pizza oven in the woods



Mat Collishaw’s Black Mirror

Matt Collishaw created an exhibition – Black Mirror –  at The Borghese gallery animating 3 Caravaggio paintings behind two way mirrors to create a new space – a place between fixed painting and real life. black-mirror-006

This had been prefigured by an earlier work by Collishaw in 2013 – East of Eden, which depicted a writhing snake moving on an lcd screen behind darkened surveillance glass, the effect is an animated painting, a mythological idea, the moving painting.


Collislaw talks in a video to accompany the Borghese pieces of how the framing of the paintings, change our view.  He uses a melancholy black glass, emphasising the black space in Caravaggio’s paintings, the space between life and death.  The reanimated models, digitally move, sway and even wink, they must have originally twitched in Caravaggio’s studio as he painted them, creating the fixed moment ‘like a photograph’ of the original paintings. As Collishaw says this is a kind of ‘Necromancy – to cross the border between life and death’.