Scape [Excerpt]

Part of my Royal College of Art MA Photography exhibition in 1984, Scape was screened as an AV projection, driven by six, stacked Kodak carousel projectors and an early Apple Mackintosh, (since re-filmed on U-matic, with VHS and DVD transfers, so much of the quality is lost). The original images were individual 35mm slides, each frame hand printed, copied and toned using lith film and assembled using pin registration.

The music for each section was inspired by the chosen sites and is the first time I used sound in my practice, here both playing violin and singing. Wayne Buzzani sound edited, Lol Sargent programmed the visual sequences with me and Gerry Burg was the invaluable darkroom technician at the time. My school friend Catherine Simpson (now Whitlock) acted as the protagonist in the film, (shot on an SLR 35mm Pentax using b/w film), in London on the Southbank, the derelict Royal Victoria Patriotic Building in Wandsworth, an underground corridor at Marble Arch, staircases at the RCA and V&A and the final sequence was shot on the north Kent coast at Tankerton.

The piece started as a kind of poem and attempts to suggest the ironic isolation of a single figure in a city environment, suggesting possible routes of escape. Its dream-like, dislocated sequences were inspired by modernist photography and experimental film. It was later screened at the London Film-maker’s Co-op in Camden.