Saturday, December 18, 2010

R.I.P. Brian Stewart, Director of Falmouth Art Gallery

Incredibly sad to hear the shocking news that the wonderful Brian Stewart of Falmouth Art Gallery has passed away. Brian was incredibly generous to us at our date with the Cornwall Film Festival at the Falmouth Art Gallery in November and it is with great sadness today that we heard of his untimely death.

We only met him that one day but genuinely feel a sense of loss, something that must only be felt tenfold throughout Falmouth, Cornwall and the UK's artistic community.
We were so impressed by the gallery and Brian's curatorial attitude towards keeping it as accessible and open to all without reducing the integrity or quality of the artworks - and felt the genuine pride he had for the gallery and its award winning status. Did I mention he even surprised us by making multiple packets of popcorn for everyone at the screening! 
The UK has lost a wonderful and inspiring man who we were lucky enough to engage with and be energised by his enthusiasm for our project.
Our thoughts go out to Brian's friends and family and wish them all the best possible christmas and new year.
Brian's obituary in the Guardian newspaper is here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wednesday 15th December at the University of Huddersfield

This was a great day to end our 2010 schedule with. Rob Lycett, senior tutor in the Digital Media Design  had already attended a few of our workshops asked us to come in and work with students as well as meet a few people during their open day.

The workshop was run by Chris and Jo and we had some very dedicated  participants who made nearly over 600 feets worth of film during the day. After forgetting one of our spilt reels to spool the film on to Jo made one out of cardboard! Total D.I.Y skills!

 It was a pleasure to meet staff and students from a wide spectrum of disciplines across the school of art. architecture and design and we hope to be able to return in the Spring term.

As well as meeting some old friends who came to visit we made some great new ones and are thrilled to have this mini-documentary of the day made by current second year student James Dyer.
James - it was pleasure to meet you and many thanks for this!

Unravel Film from James Dyer on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Monday 6th of December at Camberwell College of Arts

We were asked to come and work with MA students at Camberwell College of Arts as part of a series of talks organised by our friend Joana Monteiro.

We were excited to work with the students especially as an occupation of the lecture theatre occurred as a protest against the rise in tutiton fees proposed by the coalition government took place.

The results were suitably studious and we very much enjoyed our day, discussing the project and the logistical planning involved, as well as why we think it is a relevant tool to communicating and integrating with communities across Britain. Thanks Camberwell!

Saturday 4th of December at CINE CITY Brighton Film Festival

We ran a workshop at the Brighton and Hove Museum for CINE CITY, Brighton Film Festival.
This was the first weekend of the heavy snow in the UK and getting the train to Brighton from London was long and busy but was definitely worth it.
We were met with a steady flow of people throughout the day despite the weather, including a very dedicated attendee, Margaret Sharrow who had driven over from Aberystwyth especially! Margaret's blog of her day can be found here with a video of the end results too. 

It was great to be in the heart of Brighton for the day - just opposite the magnificent Royal Pavilion and we later got to check out the Duke of York Cinema - a fantastic old Picturehouse in the city centre.
We were especially pleased to be in the museum just as an exhibition dedicated to the exploration of colour in film opened, with Len Lye's  A Colour Box on display with a great description by the Daily Herald as pictured above. 
It was great to be back in Brighton after filming there in the summer and it was a pleasure to meet so many great people.

Friday 3rd December at Deutsche Bank Head Quarters

This was a great one for us - the Deutsche Bank Head Quarters in the City of London! The Deutsche Bank obviously have been a huge support since our prize-giving for the award from them at the Saatchi Gallery back in June. It was a total pleasure to do a workshop in their head quarters which was organised by Alex Crouch and our mentor Nicholas Muir and despite the snow holding many people back it was a pleasure to meet everyone who came and took part.
We were amazed to be holding the workshop in a huge room filled with original works by Patrick Caulfield. The Deutsche Bank hold one of the biggest private collections of original art and we spotted works by Hockney, Kapoor, Rego, Polke, Hirst and so many more just in the few rooms we went in to. It was great to hold a workshop within a workplace and the workshop was well advertised so people from all sorts of departments from investment bankers to IT workers and PAs came to lend their hand to the giant doodle we are so privileged to be creating. Thanks DBHQ!

Thursday 2nd of December at

Our day with was one we looked forward to for a while. We'd long known of who are a collective that includes the artists Karen Mirza and Brad Butler and who run a ceasless series of workshops, guest lecture series and artists' film events from their base in Bethnal Green, London. It was an honour and privelige for us to be bringing Unravel to the lab and, despite serious weather conditions with heavy snow keeping a lot of people away we met a steady flow of participants, many of whom had developed their own sophisticated techniques in dealing with the materiality of film ,and who donated some of their own work to the project. We were hosted by's James Holcombe who was a total pleasure to be in the company of for several hours and we probably learnt more that day than anyone else! 
In a very direct way Unravel has been influenced by the activities of through the participation of them running a introductory course to super-8 at Leeds Evolution festival in early 2006 which was responsible for the formation of EXP24, the Leeds based film collective that included Mark, Jo and Chris. Thanks so much to everyone who made it down, braved the cold, and added to our project. A very special day for us! 

UPDATE - Just read a really interesting write up of the project on and the day by Alexa from the thinking practices research group at Westminster University. Alexa is pictured in the centre of the photgraph above and actually introduced us to her technique of using marbling inks which created the beautiful results on the picture above. Many thanks Alexa, hope to see you soon! 

Royal College of Art on Wednesday 1st December

It was a pleasure to be asked to hold a workshop at Royal College of Art during the Communication Art and Design Work in Progress Exhibition. Taking a slot in one of Department 21's interdisciplinary sessions we were joined by staff and students from across the college to create a very quick film followed by a discussion about the project so far. It was great to go back to where this all started and see old friends and was a reminder as to just how far we have travelled since the project started. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Next few dates

A new date just added on Wednesday 1st December at the Royal College of Art's Work in Progress Show.
Thursday 2nd at lab in Bethnal Green, London.
Friday 3rd at the Deutsche Bank Headquarters in Liverpool Street, London.
Saturday 4th in Brighton with Cine City.
and Monday 6th at Camberwell College of Arts.
Last but not least, huddersfield University on wednesday 15th December.
Bookings still being made for early 2011 - if you are interested in helping us run a workshop in your town please contact us by - cheers!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mailing list

Due to an unforseen technical hitch we have lost our mailing list - if you signed up to receive e-mails from us and haven't already received an e-mail please do get in touch at Many thanks!

Sunday 21st November at Chisenhale Gallery

We felt very honoured to be running a day at the esteemed Chisenhale Gallery in London which was organised for us with the help of Alex Crouch at Deutsche Bank.
The Chisenhale is based near Victoria Park in Mile End and Bow which is where Chris lived for two years during his studies at the RCA, many of his films being made there. This made the day even more special and we were thoroughly enthused by the steady flow of people who came through the doors and interacted with each other as much as the project.
We were very looked after and we even have a dedicated page for photos and a video of the results of our workshop on the Chisenhale website here.  Thanks Chisenhale!

Saturday 20th November at Picture This in Bristol

We took part in the Encounters Film Festival in Bristol at the prestigious Picture This Gallery on saturday 20th november. It was particularly great for Jo as she was able to hang out with her sister and nine month old baby Cleo who is pictured in the photographs above - seemingly the artistic genes have kicked in early and Cleo is giving her Aunt a lesson in the analogue techniques employed by Brakhage and Lye, or maybe she's just having fun colouring in. What do babies dream of anyway?
We were thrilled to be holding the workshop in the same space as the brand new exhibition by Ben Rivers which opened the night before our arrival and had a steady flow of people coming to take part throughout the day. One of our favorites was Keisha, a four year old superstar who squealed the gallery down when she realised her drawings were what she was seeing projected when she took part in a live loop as shown below. A great day. Thanks Bristol!

Sunday 14th November at Leeds International Film Festival

Mark and Jo live in Leeds and Chris lived there for eight years so this date was a bit of a homecoming gig for us and it certainly didn't dissapoint. 

We were part of the excellent Leeds International Film Festival which is truly a gem in the festival circuit and lasts for three weeks every year as a public (not industry) festival meaning the screenings are as inclusive and economical as possible. We were part of Cherry Kino's programme which is curated and run by our friend Martha Jurksaitis who previously was part of EXP24 with Mark, Jo and Chris and were given an excellent gallery space all to ourselves at Gallery 42 next to local haunts, North Bar and Sela Bar.

We were well attended all day with a great number of our friends coming to visit. Particularly great participants were the Davies family where all five members of the clan were able to add their and add their  own section to the film. Deborah's  Naughty Neighbour blog reviewed the day very favourably here and it was a pleasure to spend so much time with such a great family and the day's film results were fantastic.
We were also aided by a great write up before the workshop by  Leeds'  culture blog which certainly helped us in being so well attended. Readers of the invaluable cops and robbers messageboard were also high in attendence. Thanks to Claire Circuit for all her help in this!!!

We ended the day by attending the Constellations  festival where a special installation of Chris's video work had been created to be shown alongside bands such as Liars,  Four Tet and Les Savy Fav.

Thanks Leeds - you never disappoint!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Saturday 13th November at the National Media Museum in Bradford

Straight on to Bradford where we were part of the Bradford Animation Festival at the National Media Museum. We were able to get a great curry at Mumtaz (where the Queen has eaten don't you know!) and set up in the museum. We were pleased to find we were to be situated in a highly visible space by the Cubby Broccoli Cinema which allowed for many passers by to be interested enough to take part and also that we were working with an old friend from Leeds, Rose Borthwick. This day was amazingly productive and we had to stick down an entirely roll of film because the participants had used so much.
We met great local people as well as those who made it down specifically for the animation festival and finished the workshop with a full screen projection in the Cubby Broccoli Cinema that was nearly full to capacity with an audience full of the film's makers.

After this brilliant workshop we were able to roam around the musuem where, asides from enacting the skydives and a fist fights with Teletubbies by using the blue screen interactive exhibits and got all excitable about retro-cameras in the Kodak Gallery, we pictured ourselves with a giant map of Britain to illustrate our efforts to go from John O'Groats to Land's End. Thanks Bradford - this was another great day.

Friday 12th November at Huddersfield at Verve Bar

Chris, Kelvin and Jo ran this workshop that was put on by local enthusiast Russell D Hunter who had previously attended an OKO workshop in Bradford at the Impressions Gallery in June. His enthusiasm was very encouraging for us and we met great locals, including Russell's kids who sat and drew on the film for a couple of hours in Verve bar.
We made more film than we expected and even had a suprise visit from Chris's parents who drove over from Rotherham especially. Russell was a great host and even joined us two days later at our date in Leeds - thanks Russ, it was a pleasure!

9th and 10th of November at The Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre

Our friend Rebecca Davies, who graduated with Maria and Chris at the RCA in July, had asked us in the summer to be part of her week-long residency at The Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre in London which had finally come around.

Rebecca has studied the area for over two years as part of her graduating work which documented the region through illustrated and documentary work and set up in the shopping centre in an empty unit, a space to facilitate and exhibit the work of artists concerned with the regeneration of its community - the blog for which is here.
Asides from our two workshops there were screenings of new work by Altermodern exhibitor Marcus Coatesand Blight by one of Chris's favorite film makers John Smith. If you've never heard of John Smith then you are really missing out on his humorous and enetertaining but pointedly sophisticated films that engage the viewer through conventional documentary or narrative formats but subvert them into deeply sophisticated  investigations into the nature of the relationship between the viewer and the viewed. One of his most celebrated works The Girl Chewing Gum is viewable as an extract here but is also available on the Cinema 16 DVD and an anthology of his work is soon to be released on DVD by LUX.
The people who dropped by and took part in our workshops were full of character, warm and friendly with a great deal of appreciation for what Rebecca had took it on herself to do. It certainly validated Rebecca's work as a study of a community and its inhabitants and has perhaps encouraged her to delve even further into the Elephant.
Big congrats Becca - this was a big success.