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  • Writer's pictureMadeline Shann


Shots of leaves through foliage - I took these before I even knew whether I would get to go ahead with the R&D. It’s still summer here.

The camera I’m using has a terrible viewfinder so its really hard to see whether or not something is in focus, but watching this now, on a cold night at the end of December, wrapped up in bed next to the radiator with leggings under my trousers, it seems absolutely incredible that this was my daily life just a few months ago, the soft, lush greens, the feeling that everything was green and glowing and alive - even just the colour palette I felt stirring something in me as I looked back at the footage. Despite the winters now being much milder, or, to look at the numbers - incredibly, record breakingly warm - this fresh, ALIVEness feels like another world away, and as well as feeling fond, happy about awakened past memories, and wistful for another summer, it strikes me with a deep sense of foreboding knowing that what we see now as the holocene, is like the light of a dead star. It appears to still be with us, but we’re just experiencing delay. It’s over. In all likelihood, gentle summer days, aliveness, life as we know it, is on the rapidly growing list under the heading “extinct”, but we just don’t feel it yet.

The soft focus - while accidental - the dreamy tilt and lens flares - again just an inadvertent side-effect of me attempting to capture the colour and texture, the beauty, complexity and layered depth of the foliage from directly below (and failing, haha. At the time it felt like a world I could climb into. Don’t think it comes across) - heightens the effect for me that I am looking into the past. A beautiful, untouchable, unreachable past, where we all once lived, and can never come to again. That technology is magical enough to show that past world to me, but not enough to protect it, or bring it back.

In the second video, I've used this footage to experiment with creating a kaleidoscope effect. With this project I'm interested in making the familiar strange, and in hypnotic, psychedelic effects, and in making things which are at once intimate, lifelike and abstract.

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