Bodies of Water Video Installation, Photo-Drawings, Printed Video Stills (2014)
Excerpts from Bodies of Water video
The Bodies of Water suite of works includes a video installation, a series of photo-drawings, and several printed video stills. These works combine the fluidity of gestural life drawing with urban reflections in water. The video intertwines narratives of human journeys with those of travelling waters in a vivid expression of colour, energy, and movement. Hand-drawn animated silhouettes were created frame-by-frame to mask the water videos so that the water appears in the shapes of moving people of all ages, from youth to elderly. A wide range of emotion is conveyed by the fluctuating character of the water and by the gestures of the figures. Through their posture and manner of movement, the individuals express confidence and frailty, joy and loneliness, nonchalance and playfulness, exuberance and hesitancy. Rear-projected onto a suspended screen so that we can approach them, the life-size animated figures of swirling water share our space with us. They portray an ongoing flow of humanity, a testament to both constant change and continued endurance. The layered ambient soundtrack envelopes viewers with both abstract and urban-sourced sounds, evoking the undulations of water and the rhythms of walking.
The five printed video stills capture essential qualities of the video: the tension between abstraction and representation; the coexistence of natural forms and urban space; the dynamic combinations of colour and motion; the changing relationships between positive and negative space; and the evolving, painterly transformations.
Each Bodies of Water photo-drawing presents a black and white photograph of reflections in water, seen only within the lines of a drawing; one medium is thereby revealed through another. By removing the element of colour, the focus is on mark-making that echoes the movement of the water and the energy of the body. The set of six drawings further explores the human condition by re-interpreting characters from the video in new drawings that reflect a full spectrum of age, attitude and experience. A toddler joyfully runs ahead of his father, a young girl adds a skip to her step, a man casually pauses to use his phone, a woman strides confidently, an elderly couple carefully help each other along.
By marrying ripples of water with human movement, the Bodies of Water photo-drawings and video stills embrace the flux of our experience, as we navigate the flow of time.