SCREENING ROOM: Six Artists respond to the poetry of Joanna Margaret Paul: works by Nova Paul, Rachel Shearer, Sonya Lacey, Popular Productions, Miranda Parkes, Shannon Te Ao


45 minutes. Works by Nova Paul, Rachel Shearer, Sonya Lacey, Popular Productions, Miranda Parkes, Shannon Te Ao. Online until 13 December 2018.

Curated by Canadian artist/academic Solomon Nagler and CIRCUIT Director Mark Williams, Six artists respond to the poetry of Joanna Margaret Paul was one of three programmes commissioned by CIRCUIT in 2015/15 which sought to address the artistic legacy of Joanna Margaret Paul. Although well known in New Zealand as a prolific painter and poet, Paul's films had enjoyed considerably less visibility. As a starting point to consider the relevance of Paul's life and work, a group of contemporary New Zealand artists were given selected poems written by Paul and asked to respond with a short work for cinema. Since it's premiere in 2015, Six artists... has been shown widely at venues across New Zealand, Australia and Europe at venues including the London Film Festival in 2016, where it screened in a combined programme with original work by Joanna Margaret Paul.

This is the first online screening of the programme, and is presented for a limited time, until 13 December.

List of Works
1) Nova Paul, Still Light (2015)
16mm transferred to HD Video, Sound, 6.35 mins.

Still Light references compositions found in Joanna Margaret Paul’s archive of photographs and paintings, and responds to Paul's untitled poem that begins with the line The room is close with mystery.
Soundtrack composed and performed by Bic Runga

2) Rachel Shearer, I am an open window (2015)
Super 8mm transferred to HD Video, Sound, 5.42 mins.

Beginning in high saturation, I am an open window explores various amplifications of sensation; day passes to night, clouds hang in the sky like unexplained portents, nature brims with potential. A shudder of film in the gate subtly intimates the slippage between one state to another.

3) Sonya Lacey, By Sea (2015)
Digital video Sound, 9.42 mins.

Set in a block of fictional seaside apartments whose architecture is shaped to form the italicised words Par Mer (French for ‘By Sea’), the subject of By Sea is language and its physical forms. Shot inside a cast salt model of the letterforms with a still camera and a microscope, Lacey’s film captures close-ups of salt crystals and ink, while on the voiceover, a narrator describes an incident between guests and the buildings process of abrasion by salt and sea air. Camerawork by Campbell Farquhar and Sonya Lacey. Narration by Fuyuko Akiyoshi Music by Johnny Chang, ‘folk music background’ (excerpt).

4) Popular Productions, third revision (2015)
8mm, Digital Video Sound, 15.59 mins.

An experimental essay film shot in New Zealand, Berlin and Warsaw featuring material filmed at sites including Warsaw Archives and Pawiak Prison c. 2000. Featuring a collection of video and film footage, third revision openly fluctuates between blur and displacement of image and focus; often the images are re-filmed off the computer screen and are further ‘corrupted/compromised’. Audio: Upright Piano reworked from an electronic composition by Samuel Holloway and et al previously created for the exhibition Parekowhai, Hollaway, Henis et al. Michael Lett, Auckland, 18 April – 25 May 2013.

5) Miranda Parkes, Sky (2015)
Digital Video Silent, 3.02 mins.

Sky uses the video camera as a drawing tool. The vision/drawing machine records light and sky, fleeting clouds turn the heavens into a quilted, flat canvas of light and time.

6) Shannon Te Ao, Untitled (Epilogue) 2015
Digital Video Silent, 4.48 mins.

Slow, meditative and rhythmic, Untitled (Epilogue) pays homage to three New Zealand artists active in the 20th century. The text by Noeline Arnott was published in 1986 alongside paintings by Joanna Margaret Paul. As Te Ao was commissioned by CIRCUIT to respond to Paul’s work, Paul herself was commissioned to make an artistic response to writer Katherine Mansfield’s short story Prelude. The plants in the footage are taken from Katherine Mansfield’s house and are included here as not only a reflection of one of Paul’s regular motifs but also as figurative manifestations of a tenuous social and bodily circumstance reflected in various ways across the lives, material and narratives aforementioned. Text excerpted from Relics from an ancient tomb by Noeline Arnott. Originally published in the New Zealand Listener, October 1986 with drawings by Joanna Margaret Paul.

Six artists respond to the poetry of Joanna Margaret Paul
Curated by Solomon Nagler and Mark Williams
Commissioned and distributed by CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand, with the support of Creative New Zealand (2015)

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