Final piece

“Notice the passing light. Warm velvet woodsmoke lifts me home. Slate clouds embrace sun rays, radiating lavender and chamomile, bergamot and sage. Goldfinches flitter through dusk as the tea leaves settle in my cup. This is here and nowhere, and internal, and everywhere. You are part of this.

Hunger drives me. I weave through the trees and consume what I need; usually those less fast, less fortunate than me. However they are just as desperate. I carry death in my feet and decay in my crop. I am life incarnate and the pinnacle of instinct. What am I?

Home is wherever you choose to land.

We coexist in a matrix of fear and wonder, myth and fact.
We hear the screams of parent, and the screams of children.
Death finds us both, and we spread it. This power complex exhausts us both; apex predators clashing in curiosity and survival.

Endless amber light welcomes me.

It comes from a thousand dying candles, singing to the Darjeeling sky.
You soar overhead, through the yellow.”

I wrote this poem as the final dialogue for my portfolio; the culmination of ideas; the bittersweet finale. I wanted to create something uplifting to end this term.

The narrative explores themes of home, constructed in the minds of both humans and birds of prey. It also acts as a conversation between the two; one of acceptance and mutual respect, rather than conflict and curiosity. Each entity observes each other, in all the qualities that make them so unique, and speak to each other. They acknowledge the myth and fear surrounding each other. Then, they leave each other be; this harmony with nature is something I wish for humanity to achieve one day. Themes of light run throughout the verse.
I chose to project a shining blue sky onto the backs of the actors in the performance. In this, kites fly through a dimming sun, rather than dark grey cloud. I aimed to create a vaguely melancholic, yet warm atmosphere, in order to match the aesthetic of the poem.
The soundtrack for the performance is ‘vide cor meum’, by Patrick Cassidy. The latin title translates to ‘see into my heart’. Whilst the title is apt enough for the theme of my performance, I chose this song as it adds to the deep, serene atmosphere I have created.
This piece has been influenced by my pieces of work that I have created throughout the term. From Verses 1-6, Sound piece and Journey to a higher world, I have drawn the themes of exploring and likeness and difference, and the relationship between human and bird.
I have extrapolated the successful elements from ‘Repentance‘; these being synchronised speech, and a narrative that hits close to home, adding
a conversational element to the work.
Finally, this piece embraces both objectivity and subjectivity in the viewing of birds of prey. This was catalysed in the beginning by Erasure of goshawk.


Second performance; ‘Repentance’

Artwork process

An eerie, yet ambient tone fades into a clinically white room. Two individuals, one wearing black and the other wearing white, enter with an air of solemn purpose and stand next to each other facing the wall. A grey sky, with a distant red kite circling in the distance, is projected onto the backs of the participants’ heads. They could be staring out of the window at the kite, or they could be simply imagining the kite; a literal head full of clouds. One of them begins to speak.

“Why won’t you stop screaming
Hush now, let me sleep
I ache so much”

The other joins in.

“Whenever I look at you, I think of when
I was eight years old, in the garden
Squatting, heart drumming
Listening to my parents screaming
Gazing at your apathetic circle-glide
Just out of reach of crows and gulls
How odd that something as
Neurotic and necrotic and wary as you,
were the only comfort in the world”

Now, only the other speaks.

“I didn’t mean to hurt you
please fly away
come on, get up, please
I’m so sorry, you’re okay, please
I tried to fix you, look, you’re better now
please wake up”

The pair fall silent, and leave the room.



Week 6 Workshop; Green Screen


I decided to take part in the green screen week 6 workshop, as I’d developed interest in working with greenscreens after taking part in the Tate exchange programme, during which I’d been responsible for operating one. I was keen to know more about how it worked so that I could potentially use one in my own practice. I was amused to find that we were using the exact same hardware that we had used at the Tate, as it still contained some of the background images I had downloaded onto it previously. I was given some instruction on how to use greenscreen/chromakey on premier pro, which I may put into action in future video work. We were also given recommendations on how to operate the lighting in order to make the footage more realistic.


Marcus Coates; Dawn chorus.

In ‘Dawn chorus’, Marcus Coates explores the phonetic relationship between humanity and songbirds. By analysing the super-slowed melodies of various songbirds, Coates was able to transcribe the exact noises composing each melody into a script, which could then be read aloud by human volunteers; the recording of each script then being sped up to the point where the humans sound exactly like their avian counterparts.

Coates creates a heartwarming unity between society and nature in this piece. I am inspired by how it radiates a mutual understanding between the two, as each individual sits in their ‘natural habitat’, warbling away each unfamiliar song, as if singing a folk song in a foreign language.