Post Partum Weeks 5 & 6
March 5, 2012, 9:27 am
Filed under: Zoe Gingell

I have completed all the sequences of stills, the separate elements that will be composited into one image as a whole, and placed within a timeline in order to become alive, ‘animate’.

Gareth Bryn at Cinemattic in Cardiff Bay is working on pulling the film together, and I have been working with Simon and Darren of Soundworks on the sound for the piece, which I’m hoping will bring a sense of presence rather than anything literal.

In the basement space I am now drawing on wallpaper, tracing shadows of projected light through a lace curtain.

I am hoping that the drawing will extend beyond tracing what is ‘real’, observing the way that the ‘given’ shapes shift and wandering whether I want to form them into other recognisable ‘things’, as a child sees forms in clouds, faces on moons and shadow figures cast on walls from harmless objects like a coat on a peg.

The drawing takes a long time, and there’s a lot of wall to cover. Excruciating, yet obsessively pleasing, hours go past and I scribble, covering only a small amount of physical space.

There are technical challenges inherent in drawing shadows, which is forcing me to make marks in a new and unfamiliar way; shadows of lace, organised patterns which fold and partly disappear, only a spectre of it’s actual ‘real’ nature as material.

It is like mapping a shifting moment; it is like capturing a memory.

Zoe Gingell

February 29th 2012


Post Partum: Weeks 3/4
February 16, 2012, 4:28 pm
Filed under: Zoe Gingell

Week Three/Four

Spent the last couple of weeks bringing to life the animated ‘elements’, in a way that allows them to be read. How to get the shadows clear enough as either a back projection or as a lit ‘shadow’. Tried front lighting onto the objects but not controllable enough, or clear enough and so decided on backlighting.

Tried thin paper stretched across a clothes rail on wheels to allow me to alter how close to the amazing big f**k off theatre light that I’ve hired it is. Shadows work in a way you don’t expect – like mirror images, but not quite, still haven’t worked it out… The nearer the light source, the further you are away from the recipient ‘surface’ – the image receiver- and thus the bigger and more fuzzy the outline. I want to give that impression in the final piece, but have the clearest ‘edges’ to play with in post when all the elements are in.

Things are coming together. My children have been to visit, press buttons, act behind the ‘light show’ – knowing, yet oblivious of their inspirational role.

My acquaintances, friends, mothers; some artists or writers, or people moved to help other mothers because of their own catalytic change;  are willing to open to my project; taking as a start the exploration & utterance of repositioning and of past experience, a mere ‘telling’; or utterance of that which underpins rather than undermines our power as Mothers, changed beings.

In parallel, I move an object a millimetre, capture it, to reanimate a feeling, an allegory which explains what I could not explain.

This process is potent and banal simultaneously. The simple rhythm is both comforting and frustratingly far from a; ‘finished’ work, yet allows a breathing- juxtaposed by conversations with eloquent women who have contextualised their anxieties, come out the ‘other side’, as it were.

Sarah Appleton Jones, Sian Hughes, Davida Hewlett, to name three…

We are mothers and friends, bound by our ability and desire to utter what we dared not, in order to function. It feels sacrilegious, yet precious, indulgent and unnecessarily necessary. A testament to a fragile beauty.

An experience of one’s own power beyond your previous knowledge and at the same time utter humble quiet fear.

So yes, big things. Little moments, nanoseconds. I animate a dummy, which becomes a surrogate child, connecting me to memory and a sense of time passing which remains current. A current.

Week One of Zoe Gingell’s basement residency
January 26, 2012, 11:05 am
Filed under: Zoe Gingell

Post Partum, by Zoe Gingell

Week One

I am using the basement residency to complete work which I began after the birth of my second child 5 years ago. Titled ‘Cradle’, it began as a series of moments I caught on video, of the light moving and casting shadows above the cot where my baby slept.

Overtime, I have gained a perspective on my sleep deprived hyper-neurotic state, which I new to be simultaneously precious and overwhelmingly fragile. I aim to re- present these ‘moments’, re-create them via filmed and animated shadows, to re connect with my feelings and memories of that time.

The shadows are metaphorical – literally projections of a version that was within my own mind; the imaginary within a ‘real’ space, an unspoken heightened sense of fear and the need to know and protect my child.

This first week I have been playing with light and shadow, identifying the various ‘elements’ that will form the shadow composition; the projected picture which will be shown within the eventual installation. I have experimented with filming shadows thrown by a single light source onto a wall (cot) and backlighting an object onto a screen. I spent three days animating an antique doll, suspended mid air, to produce about 10 seconds of ‘real time’… In slowing down the movement of the ‘baby’ I remembered how my own baby moved; in jerky, mistimed stretches and grasps, not actually fluid movement.

Its been great to play this week, a luxury in fact and thus far its all fairly low tech., but I need to get organized; I need to strip my idea into seconds of time – to be recreated, frame by frame…

One day a week, I will be inviting mothers to come and have a ‘conversation’ with me about their experiences during pregnancy and after,  encouraging expression of that you can’t talk about at softplay. I will record these sessions, to create an archive of ‘Mother voices’ that, including my own voice will form the soundtrack of new work.

Zoe’s residency will run from now through February. The resultant exhibition will be presented on 9th March and run until 31st.