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Thursday Scratch Nights

16mm Film Screening: Where you had been

Film still: We Saw by Peter Todd

Film still: We Saw by Peter Todd

Film still: Where you had been

Film still: Where you had been

Film still: Dark Garden

Film still: Dark Garden

Film still: We Saw by Peter Todd
Film still: Where you had been
Film still: Dark Garden

Film still: We Saw by Peter Todd

16 mm Film Screening: Where you had been

Six films by Nick Collins, Peter Todd and Margret Tait
Thursday 17 October / 7pm / Free


Co-curated with Adam Pugh


The artists in this programme are brought together by ways of looking, and a sense of deep engagement with quotidian, domestic spaces. But the familiarity of the home and the garden, the heart of the domestic, do not invoke a reductive or banal vision: rather than a narrowing, the artists’ enquiry, rooted in the familiar, signifies a distillation, a quest for the essence of things. This essence may be sought, of course, in an unpeopled wilderness, but the risks of losing one’s way and, ironically, seeking to impose a reductivist or civilising mantle – to contain the uncontainable – are great. Here, it is precisely the strict parameters of the bounded spaces, the mediated worlds that lend both a rigour and watchfulness to the artists’ work.


This programme was previously screened at The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art, Norwich in 2012.


Artist Biographies


Nick Collins (b.1953) has been making films since 1976. His work, usually made on 16mm film, explores landscapes, human presence and absence and the passage of time. Collins’ films have been shown widely at festivals across the world, including Toronto International Film Festival, London Film Festival and Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen. He is a visiting lecturer at the University of Brighton.


Peter Todd works particularly with 16mm film and curated projects. His films include An Office Worker Thinks of Their Love, and HomeFor You, and We Saw. Often made over a period of a year or two and of varying lengths from four to ten minutes, his work features images of daily life and domestic places and have been shown at festivals including Rotterdam, London, Courtisane, and at Filmsamstag Berlin.  Todd curated three programmes of films, Garden Pieces at BFI Southbank in 2009, developing from an earlier single-screen touring programme of that name in 2001; and the evolving series Film Poems (1-4) during 1998-2003. He also curated an international touring exhibition of work by the Orcadian film maker Margaret Tait for LUX. Ongoing projects include The Room with Luke Fowler and Keith Rowe, first presented at Tate Modern. His writing includes On Showing A Film: Some Thoughts and Voices for Vertigo.


Margaret Tait (b.1918 in Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland) qualified in medicine at Edinburgh University in1941. From 1950 to 1952 she studied film at the Centro Sperimentale di Photographia in Rome.  On returning to Scotland, Tait established Ancona Films in Edinburgh’s Rose Street. In the 1960s she moved back to Orkney where over the following decades she made a series of films inspired by the Orcadian landscape and culture. All but three of her thirty two films were self-financed. She wrote poetry and stories and produced several books including three books of poetry. Screenings include National Film Theatre (London), Berlin Film Festival, Centre for Contemporary Art (Warsaw), Arsenal Kino (Berlin), Pacific Film Archives (San Francisco), Knokke le Zoute, Delhi and Riga. Tait was accorded a retrospective at the 1970 Edinburgh Film Festival and has been the subject of profiles on BBC and Channel Four. The feature length Blue Black Permanent (1993) opened the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Her final film Garden Pieces was completed in 1998.  Margaret Tait died in Kirkwall in 1999.

October 2013


What are Scratch Nights?

Happening every Thursday evening at the Gallery, Scratch Nights are a series of events by emerging local and national practitioners working in music/sound, film, expanded cinema, performance and spoken word.


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