As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place, where was a den; and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and as I slept I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back. I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled: and not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry; saying,
‘What shall I do?’
Extract from The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan. 1678
The Pilgrim’s Process is a visual art project looking at the changing role of the chapel in the culture and landscape of west Wales, while also presenting personal journeys examining creative processes and exploring memory, loss, grief and identity.
It includes a series of videos presented as part of GWRANDO‘s ongoing Capeli project.
The first video works were created using found and donated equipment, edited on camera, allowing the faults of the hardware to dictate the look and structure of the work, chapels glimpsed/filmed during everyday journeys around West Wales.
The Pilgrim’s Process began in 2004 using an analogue camera from a skip processed into black and white through a video processing unit from a boot sale.
Pererin Digidol, uses a found digital camera. The film begins with the breakdown of the older analogue footage during its digitisation. The faulty camera begins overlaying strips of distorted footage, which struggle to co-exist. They each move, fragment and stick in turn, shifting rhythmically until the colour, digital footage breaks through bleached and processed by the analogue capture card.
Following Fingerprints utilises journeys made by Lou Laurens for her ‘Acoustic fingerprints’ project, an exploration of the sonic histories of chapels in the Teifi Valley.
In previous works views of chapels were incidental to everyday journeys, in this film they are destinations in their own right. Whereas the previous films focussed (blurrily) on exteriors, this project focuses on the chapel interiors, coupled with a more static filming process, bringing each chapel into sharp focus using high quality video. It examines the spaces using formal filming techniques, slow zooms and pans across the spaces looking at how light enters, reflects and highlights the details. Condensing all of the footage through long transitions and overlays.
Extending the work into uncompromised digital video refocuses the meaning, making it clear that the films fundamentally address the way in which technical choices affect the reading of documentary film. Emphasizing the subjectivity of the gaze and highlighting the way the recording process mediates and fictionalises our experience of reality. This is continued through the production of different edits and forms of presentation such as split screen and overlay.
Teithio’r Bargod was originally made for Rhôd 2010. The film begins in the river Bargod near an old water powered mill and follows the artist on a journey to the nearby chapel in Drefelin.
This work is dedicated to the memory of Joan Hopkins CBE.
“God is in the detail”
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe