on the face of it the piece depicts a beautiful and overpowering yet not necessarily elegant landscape at a time of bitter tranquility, no human interaction or event taking place just the elements in their natural unaltered state.
My practice has come to the this path after past experiences led me down this avenue, the use of environmental art methods in particularly working within the outdoor landscape struck a chord with me which then progressed into my decision to create a piece centered around shooting the natural landscape 'in all it's glory'. My own creative leanings particularly a fascination with film and music led me to documenting the piece in the manner and style in which I have.

I see my self presently as a landscape artist, but I am aware that I am prone to shifting my practice along with my current interests and chop and change my areas of interest as much as I do my mediums, hence why I felt the interdisciplinary course was the right choice for me and I am pleased with the freedom I have gained from it, where I go from here, who knows, but I know that as long as I maintain momentum and keep uncovering new interests my enthusiasm can take me far.

Final Cut.

With G47 set up and ready for my film I now had time to get to grips with the film and re-edit it with fresh eyes at the soundbooth and make the changes that I felt necessary. This can be viewed above.
One of the main edits that differs from the previous 'rough edit' is the inclusion of a slow moving cloud sequence, which starts to come in at around the 3.50 minute  mark, taking over what was a lengthier stay from the footage that precedes it, which quite frankly I found headache inducing, it's only saving grace was the colour range and aesthetic appeal which led to it being kept in the film albeit at a decreased length. I think the new footage works really well, so much so that it has become one of my favourite moments and slightly baffles me that I overlooked it in the original edit. This has emphasized to me just how important it is to have a series of edits and not just create one final edit. Making a rough edit and then responding to feedback and taking notes has, i feel, led me to create a much stronger piece. I have also taken on board postive responses to my colour pallette which has also been applied to the recently added scene which has had it's magnitude increased to a point where the reds are just apparent but not enough to make it sepia. 
Another key change was my decision to group all of the snow shots together in one constant sequence as to avoid confusion and to make the film flow better.
The soundtrack has also been altered slightly with a percussive element that was previously barely audible made more apparent, all with the intention of making the sounds mesh better with the screen imagery. The abstract sentiments of the two elements, audio and visual collide and contrast each other to play out the physical rhythms of the landscape ultimately become psychological.   
Despite a deliberate and conspicuous absence of the body, the video emits a distinct human presence, which is something that I have found is unavoidable, as put simply we couldn't have video footage without human interaction, so obviously it would always have a human trace, mine maybe more than others.

Local Natives.

Having posted my video on vimeo in order to use it for said blogging purposes I was thrilled to recieve a lovely email this morning from Danny Willis of men's outfitters 'Native Craftworks':

Hi Brad,

Hope you're well?

My name is Danny and I work for Native Craftworks.

Would just like to let you know how great we think your film is.  I've watched it a few times now.  

We made a trip up to Yorkshire late last year.....we stayed near Ingleborough.  The trip inspired our 'Dalesman' shoe.  Your film really reminds me of the visit....I think it captures the 'feel' of the countryside really well.

Thanks again



It's a Set Up!

 So the final week is upon us which means that this week will mostly be spent preparing my exhibition space, which after thankfully very little negotiation is the separate room  at the back of the studios - G47. 
Whilst making the film and through watching the footage back, I have come to the conclusion in my head that it would suit it best to be shown in a darkened confined area which whilst being the opposites of the elements depicted in the film, would I feel work the best for showing it. With the pitch black atmosphere and the confined space adding to the 'all consuming' nature I have wanted the film to have from the start. With my trusty helper Chris Winter helping, we painted the projection wall a crisp white and began draping fabric around the room and decreasing the spaces original size both for the exhibitions purposes and to give a space for storage, which has enabled the room to separate itself from the rest of the exhibition which has recently taken on quite an open, airy feel, something my piece wouldn't, i feel, suit. Especially as my piece relies upon a soundtrack to surround the viewer, which would cause a lot of problems in terms of interfering with the intentions of other exhibitors and their work. Whilst I will still have to be wary of my sound leaking out and affecting others work, I am in a much more comfortable position from my own domain at the back of the studios.
Draping fabric across the doorway further increases the closed off nature of my exhibition space. This is where I  am grateful for having sound in my piece as without it my piece may be ignored due to no visible signs of entrance. The sound now acting as a point of intrigue for the audience to explore.

East Street Arts - Patrick Studios.

Today was the day, I had my first taste of being a resident artist. Arriving at Patrick Studios at 10.30 I was shown to the space where I was left to my own devices, really relaxing feel and one in which I was at liberty to try as many things as I liked. It was areally refreshing experience.

First thoughts as how great it was to have such a large space all to myself, selfish I know but having all this space really allowed me to play about and experiment with
No way feasible in a working studio like that on the course, but I feel that I have organized this opportunity at the right moment- just as the studios are being adapted for the degree show, so I can get used to having so much space, even though the light and scale will be completely different.

The Patrick Studios is well served by natural light courtesy of the huge loft windows, which made the room a little brighter than I wanted, but with a few adjustments I managed to get the lighting to a suitable level to project whilst still taking in the nice open feel of the space. something I was keen to investigate was how this openness would have an effect on the film itself. With my intentions for the degree show to project inside the relatively modest space of G47 to create and ‘all-consuming’ effect by darkening the space and making it slightly claustrophobic to draw focus on the piece, how would the same work then look in a bright, open, modern gallery setting?

I was pleased with how the day went, and the was a tremendous satisfaction of being a practitioner in the public realm and having the freedom to create and display what is essentially my response to my own brief.

Whilst this was a great opportunity for me to independently discover ways of showing my work I was also very aware that come degree show time I won't have such a liberty of selfishness and will have to consider how my work will work with pieces in a conversational sense within the context of the show.

Zarina Bhimji.

As my work has moved into slightly different teritorry it is ineteresting to note how my influences have varied as well. Zarina Bhimji is an artist I first came across in 2007 when I went to the Turner Prize at Liverpool's Tate. Paula recently mentioned that she thought of Bhimji's work, in particular the video work that was on display at the Tate, when watching my film.
Zarina Bhimji is a Ugandan born artist who has travelled extensively throughout India, Zanzibar and East Africa, immersing herself in their discrete yet intersecting histories.
Whilst obviously taken conceptually relating to the past attrocities of the places she visits, her imagery depicts the human traces of landscape and architecture abandoned by their previous occupiers
Walls are a recurring motif in Bhimji's work, attracting her through their absorption of history as they become a record of those who built, lived within and ultimately abandoned them. Something she has relied upon again when displaying her film piece, in a dark walled area with the distressing soundtrack transmitted at a high volume that haunts the viewer as much as the imagery.
The washed-out tone of the hair-like material, the light, and the interior of the factory create a saturated monochrome that, combined with the film’s soundtrack, becomes immersive. Bhimji originally recorded the piece on 35mm film and then transferred to high-definition video, ensuring every nuance of the building is captured in a distinct tone, something I relied on post-produciton techniques to achieve.
I was glad Paula brought Bhimji up as I hadn't noticed the significant link between my work, something which will be even closely linked when I travel to Uganda this summer as part of a charity placement.


In preparation for my open studio day at East Street Arts and subsequently the degree show, I have  created a handout leaflet detailing 'Transience' and it's creation.

Roger Fenton.

I recently heard a radio interview on Radio4 with Simon Grant of the TATE who was talking about the photography of Roger Fenton, who with his studies of the Crimean war gained much noteriety for his studies of the terrible beauty of war.
Roger Fenton arrived in Balaklava harbour on a cool spring day on 8 March 1855. Sent out by the commercial firm of Thomas Agnews & Co to take photographs of the Crimean War, he brought with him a large white horse-drawn van, which had been converted from a wine merchant's vehicle into a mobile darkroom. It had everything he needed - five large cameras, 700 glass plates stacked in wooden boxes, several chests of chemicals, printing frames, as well as his personal supply of preserved meats, wine, beer, biscuits and horse tackle.
A trained painter and the wealthy son of a Lancashire MP, Fenton had turned his interests to the relatively new technology of photography and learned quickly. He exhibited his first photographs in 1852, co-founded the Photographic Society a year later and by the time he arrived in the Crimea had already received much valuable patronage from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Roger Fenton, Fenton's Photographic Van with assistant Marcus Sparling, 1855
It is a picture of a contaminated landscape - a more reflective alternative amid the clamour of imagery that we are now fed by television news.

Into the Valleys.

A great documentary about the painters Augustus John and James Dickson Innes who, in 1911, left London for the wild Arenig Valley in North Wales was shown on BBC Four last night.
What surprised me about the painters was just how little they knew of their landscape before they ventured many miles to depict it. Something I would find a little odd. Whilst I didn't know the precise location of my shoot, I had a good idea of the surrounding area and wanted to leave a lot of the spontaneity that comes with exploring a new landscape for the day of filming, so as to let the enthusiasm spill into the work.

I guess this marks one of the appeals to me about the natural landscapes relation to art, that through many centuries and countless developments in both media and exhibition, there will always be a fascination with the world in which we live in and people will always strive to depict it and the similarities through each media's depiction are always so apparent that it becomes less about how they are depicted and the media used but more about 'Land Art' as a medium itself.

The FINAL Crit!

Whilst reading the book an obvious question kept popping up - 'can video work that was made within the environment and displayed elsewhere, be classed as land art?'
This is an essential factor of my own work, and rather than try to answer it I deem it as a rhetorical way of spurring my work on.

East Street Arts Open Studio | 20 May 2011

East Street Arts
A busy week is in store this week, with the final crit taking place tomorrow and my own residency/open studio taking place at East Street arts at the end of the week.

Giving Up Their Day Job.


Cardboard Imaginings of Youth & Ignorance.

It's odd to think that whilst my FMP has seen me focus on capturing outdoor footage, something one usually associates with long sojourns in the specified environment waiting for a specific shot, this shoot in the sutdio was the most frustrating and longest of the two as it was stuck in one location waiting for the right light in which the letters would be at their most effective.


Today was the second of our exhibition exercises in preparation for our final crit and subsequent degree show.
Taking on board previous criticisms those involved in todays exhibition made an effort to rectify the problems that occurred in the previous exercise, so much thought and consideration went into the placement of pieces especially in regards to where sound pieces where placed, in this case the sound pieces where mine and Beth's, but due to Beth's piece requiring headphones to listen to there was no obvious clash and each element had it's own suitable place within what is quite a small display area.

Rough Trade.

Watching the piece in it's current form it is a great opportunity to reflect on it and review how it works and ways to improve it.
Amongst the things I have been aiming for within the piece have been thematic conveyences of solemn and ethereal emotions that derive from the lack of human presence which would have detracted the focus from the beauty of the landscape achieved to some extent by the overlayed light flashs dissipating in and out of the footage hinting at it's origins in the Arthur C. Clarke novel and lending the film a more abstract, experimental glow.

The backwards guitars of the soundtrack although initially conceived as a happy accident quickly became integral to the piece and once identified as being so effective have been reworked and I feel really bring the video the fore and heighten the pastoral yet dark and melancholic emotion of the piece.

whilst adhearing to no definative structure, it can be said that using video I am defined by scale, proportion and format, that being said I have found the whole adventure somewhat of a creative experiment that will be transposed to a new level when installation begins to become my focus as it is beginning to at the moment and I feel that these intentional stylistic choices whilst brave to include have really giving the film a signature look and feel that I feel works really well.

Earth Day.

 To commemorate 'Earth Day' Lomography have compiled a stunning gallery of photographs focussing on the beauty and complexity of the planet we live in and the varying landscapes native to countries around the world, made up of images from lomographers (fans of analogue technology who use lo-fi techniques to create unique photographs) around the world.

I particularly like the image above which due to the film being out of date, a habit favourable amongst many lomographers, adds a distinct washed out appeal to the images, similar to the photography of Neil Krug.

The above image reminded me very much of the forest sequence at the beginning of my film where the light tries to make it self seen through the trees and rain.

Herbert Ponting & Wim Wenders.

I was in London this weekend
A very brief and breathtakingly beautiful exhibition of Herbert Ponting’s photography is soon to finish at Atlas Gallery, London. This show, commemorating the death of Robert Falcon Scott who he joined as photographer and cinematographer on the fatal Terra Nova Expedition in the early 1900s, is a remarkable account of artistic craftsmanship in the most testing of conditions. As we can now appreciate the fineness of the images as objects of art, so do we understand more fully the gravitas the moment they arrived from.
The exhibition is in association with the Scott Polar Research Institute.

Fantastic exhibition of Antarctic photography by Herbert Ponting at the Atlas gallery, London. The platinum prints, published in association with the Scott Polar Research Institute, are in commemoration of the death of Captain Robert Falcon Scott.

Whilst depicting deifferent climes, tehre is still a focus on the vast scale of the enviroonment, something I was striving for when making this piece, and there is also very much a feeling of the climate and weather having a huge impact on the photography in terms of preventing and forcing change upon shots, something I experienced a little too often on my shoot.

I found it really useful to witness  such a throrough and in-depth ortrayal of a natural landscape at this stage, especially when I am editing my own work as it enabled me to take a step back and regain focus on exactly what I am doing. I have been wary of getting too bogged down with layering effects, which while I feel work with the footage I have selected, I realize that I have to be carefull t not get too carried away, especially when someone like Ponting achieved so much clarity and effortlessness with the simplicity of Black & White photography.

Whilst in London I also went to the latest Wim Wenders exhibition at the Haunch of Venison gallery
Instead of a new film, this time it’s photography taken in various countries around the world.
 imagery without definitiv narratives that led the viewer to draw their own conclusions, but how much can this be achieved when considering artistic lisence and creative input into the work?
This question feeds very much into the argumetn I've been having with myself over the course of creating this work, how can my film be evidential and experimental at the same time when to be be one seemingly voids the right to be classed as another?

It’s not too much of a stretch to say that without Wim Wenders ‘indie cinema’, particularly that of the late 80s and 90s, would lack a defining visual style. Growing up in provincial England, but in the days when BBC 2 and Channel 4 could be relied on to show off-beat films fairly regularly, his was the style that defined for me cool away from the mainstream. The eye that showed a fascinating, enigmatic world away from the mundane. Now Wenders is a photographer. A shot from this exhibition (just transferred from Sao Paolo) made the cover of the British Journal of Photography and a steady stream of people were popping in to Haunch of Venison to look over the 47 images on display. But this really isn’t a showcase of a filmmaker’s hobby – this is high quality photography and a major, important exhibition.
Take just one image at random. Okay: it’s #38 which comes in room 6 (there are 7 rooms). “Armenian Alphabet, Armenia, 2008″. Firstly let’s talk about the scale. In common with most of the works here it’s large. Not overpowering but appropriately vast. This time though we’re fairly close in to the subject which appears to be various characters (I’ll take on trust they are letters from the Armenian alphabet) standing like Rapa Nui statues in weak summer light in what appears to be a remote location far away from sight. Technically, the image is perfect as the light balances neatly with the natural colours of the landscape and the artificial tones of the oversized letters. Without a full page of explanatory notes I doubt I could ever comprehend what I am looking at. But not only does it fulfill the title’s requirement – strange and quiet indeed – but the places the viewer is taken in their mind as they reassemble and give meaning to the image are intriguing and ever so slightly disconcerting. The pictures may not be in motion any more but Wenders is still directing in that enigmatic, cool way.
In keeping with the title and focus of the works there aren’t many people present. A lone sunbather is almost lost amongst the loungers and the scenery; the Brisbane rodeo clown shot from behind. The style is very much of the time – using what could be termed a cold eye and in the main a washed-out pallette. If this wasn’t at Haunch of Venison it would fit into the Photographers’ Gallery programme without any major fuss.
There are some exceptions to that overall norm – for example the “Twin graves and drive in cinema, Marfa, Texas”, taken in 1983 and presumably at the time when Wenders was scouting for locations for ‘Paris, Texas’ that began his focus on this kind of photography, looks for all the world like it could come from Robert Franks’ ‘The Americans’, such is the use of juxtaposition in both framing and title. It’s one of only a few where the mood feels more forced.
Which is not to say the work is derivative or too stylistic. It certainly isn’t from that spectrum of modern photography where the artists’ vision needs to be explained before the viewer is able to formulate their response. Wenders says he is photographing things that are out of place or places that are strangely quiet (or quietly strange). And even without the gallery notes so much would be obvious. There is no deeper message other than: stop for a moment, consider this … And the exhibition is rather remarkable (and highly recommended) as a result.

No Use For A Name.

Whilst only a simple matter, the decision to include a title and how this would completely change how the film is viewed in a loop was  one I laboured on for a while, eventually deciding to include one. I realize that this now adds what will be perceived as a beginning to the film and it mean it doesn't loop seamlessly from end to beginning now, but I feel that the title I have chose is not imposing and simply does it's job giving details about the film without effecting the  rest of the piece.


In our recent exhibition exercise in which we were asked to exhibit a piece of current work in order to prepare us for the degree show. I exhibited a piece of audio which was in fact a older segment from the film, and played this from a speaker situated in a plinth which stood in front of a still from the film. Whilst only intended as a way of linking the sound to the landscape in which i was created and printed cheaply using standard inks, the image gained a lot of comments due to it's striking tonal quality which was said to be reminiscent of traditional landscape paintings. 
I found these comments very interesting as whilst it was not intended to be the main focus the editing which I had done on the film so far as depicted in the still was already well received.
This has led me to look further into examples, based purely on their tonal depth and aesthetic qualities and how they relate to the landscape in which they depict.
As this researched  was spurned by comments relating to landscape painting, this is where I started.
Peter de Wint was my first port of call as I wanted to look at how painters themselves have looked at the sky as a means of expression, with sky shots making up a lot of my film - varying degrees at different lights. Using particularly light gestural movements as a tool to convey the desired emotion for their piece, both personal and how they would like the piece to look in terms of tone.

A Cornfield - Peter De Wint - 1815

In the editing process I have been experimenting heavily with the contasts of colours, in some places this is quite drastic with filters added to completley change the mood of the piece, in others I have continued the cinematic quality, given by exporting in widescreen, by grading the film footage to give the film a quality instantly reminiscent of classic film from the 60/70's where film was completely manual and obviously giving inferior quality compared to the HD of modern film, but it is the tone and sheen of the imagery which ironically many film makers, including myself on this piece, try to replicate through computer based post production purely for aestheic reasons.

I admire many video works of this era in particular the cinematography of William Friedkin and Owen Roizman in the 1971 film French Connection owes much to the stock of film it was shot with. The faded nature of the imagery and the deep contrast can be seen in the below screen shot of Sidney Lumet's 1973 film 'Serpico'.

Continuing this element of achieving modern work with vintage techniques is the photographer Neil Krug, whose use of dated film stock in extreme weather conditions edits the photographs itself given an immense aesthetic that increases the power of the images and ultimately makes the work transmit better making their desired effect greater.

Aiming for this kind of vintage tone which I hope to achieve by combining this with the clarity gained from shooting in HD will I hope emphasize the drama and atmosphere already in the landscape.

In terms of soundtrack I originally intented to achieve this relatively simply - I recorded myself playing guitar over footage which whilst sounding great, especially through the high quality speakers of the sound booth, just didn't have an edge that I was hoping for ad just sounded like it was, guitar played over footage.
I then had a eureka moment whilst playing the film back I accidently lent on the shift key which in final cut plays the footage in reverse, including the audio which was then transformed into a haunting sound with no obvious strum pattern distinguishable. I then played in sequence to reversed footage, so when I made the footage play normaly the audio would then be reversed.

Always referring back to Arthur C Clarke's Transience in particular when included the segments of the snow landscapes filmed on the morning after the main day of filming. The contrast between the snow landscapesacting a a similar tool as the sea and desert in 'Transience' the short story.
Using cross disolve sparingly has added the disorientating effect I was after, coupled witth he shrill and strange nature of the soundtrack, the two elements work together to create a really haunting atmosphere that heightens the emotions experienced when out in the landcape itself, as this is my basic intention - to represent the alienating, vastness and magnitude on what is ultimately a 2D medium.
Whilst not adhearing to any distinctly strict chord progression, there is a definate theme and haunting build up in certain segments which I wanted to float road very much like the footage does, especially the parts filmed at the full mercy of the wind owing to a blurry, headache inducing feeling that adds to the consuming nature of the piece.
When showing it to others for feedback they have agreed how effective this eireey sound is to the piece.

Something that became intrinsic to me whilst creating the piece was the simultaneous editing process, whereby I would play over the video footage I was in the middle of editing in order to gain the closeness and ensure the two mediums linked together and locked in with each other as much as possible.