A mesmerizing journey into sight, sound and memory. Shona Illingworth’s newly commissioned film offers a vivid portrait of Balnakiel, a remarkable location at the furthermost edge of Britain.
A mesmerizing journey into sight, sound and memory. Shona Illingworth’s newly commissioned film offers a vivid portrait of Balnakiel, a remarkable location, at the furthermost edge of Britain. Exposed to extremes of weather, geology and the disturbing omnipresence of the RAF and Royal Navy, who use this area of Scottish land as a bombing range, the brooding, melancholic landscape has a significant emotional and psychological impact on its residents.
The artist explores the social context of this land through photography, film and recorded narrative. Herself an ex-resident, Shona’s investigative processes come from both a personal perspective and a more objective conceptual approach, shaped in part by exchanges with cognitive neuro-psychologist Martin Conway, whose work draws attention to the strategies memory employs to attempt to either articulate or suppress strong undercurrents of experience when a sense of self and community identity is under threat.
Balnakiel is commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella in association with John Hansard Gallery and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Supported by Arts Council England
and an Arts Award from the Wellcome Trust, with additional support from the Highland Council and the Danish Embassy, London.
This project is part of a nine-month UK-wide season of activity about identity from the Wellcome Trust.