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  • claregeeorkney

A blast from the past

My work has recently been included in an art and experimental film show, celebrating the work of Orkney based artists. It's been on an Orkney tour, including to my own local community hall - Cromarty Hall in St Margaret's Hope, the Gable End Theatre in Hoy, Papa Westray, Westray and The Pier Arts Centre in Stromness. The brainchild of a fabulous artist and even better friend, Sheena Graham-George, and curated by Mark Jenkins, the show was packed out at the Cromarty Hall a couple of months ago, and I feel very honoured to have had my work shown in the company of some amazing artists. Orkney really does have a phenomenally strong and creative population.

For my piece, I chose a work from the mists of time - Dress, made in 1994. Filmed on old Ilford 16mm aircraft gun film stock, and hand processed, the film shows a dress, owned by my mum when she was a teenager in the 1950s, which had been passed to me and which I still own. In the early 1990s my work - predominantly super 8 film and photography - was focused on the female generations of my family, peeling back family history like peeling layers off an onion. The dress was a symbol of all those generations of women, from several of us owning and wearing the same item of clothing, to the making of the dress by my Gran.

The dress is made of a black and white dogtooth check cotton, with black piping and bows. It seemed to sit perfectly as a silent black and white film made using a Bolex camera from the same generation. The film is shown in negative rather than from a print. The only difference being that the bows show as white not black.

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