10 min / single channel video / 2016
Filmed on the autumnal Equinox, Empty Vessel is a celebration of transience and in-between states, and a contemplation of what the sensing and moving human body might mean in the Digital Age.
‘there’s no saying what heady potions we won’t concoct, what meanings, myths, manias we won’t imbibe in order to convince ourselves that reality is not an empty vessel.’ Graham Swift, Waterland
Installation for Museums at Night
At the Autumnal Equinox, inspired by Susan Hiller’s ‘Homage to Joseph Beuys’ series, we made a 7.5 mile pilgrimage with 22 others from Bow Arts to Jacob’s Well in Valentines Park, Illford, to collect special water samples.
Following the London pilgrimage, we made another pilgrimage near our home town of Whitby in North Yorkshire, journeying 7.5 miles with 12 other people to an ancient holy spring; St Hilda’s spring in the village of Hackness.
The singing voices that are heard in the film and installation space were recorded by pilgrims shortly after collecting the water. These ‘songs’ are one-off recordings – created intuitively by each person at the moment of recording. Water collected by the pilgrims on both of these journeys was displayed in the gallery at the height of each pilgrim’s heart, along with their fingerprint.
The installation premiered simultaneously at Bow Arts as part of Visions in the Nunnery, and at Crescent Arts in Scarborough.
With special thanks to Stuart Cameron, Christopher Ellis, Susan Hiller, Karen Thompson, and all the singers and pilgrims.