Elemental Dialogues – Water, Mottisfont, 24 Sept to 9 Oct


I was lucky enough to catch this on what was originally planned to be its penultimate day (30th Sept ), and to also have a chance meeting with filmmaker Anna Cady.  This installation came about through various poets being asked to respond to a piece of film from which the soundtrack had been removed.  The poets were recorded reading their works, and this became the new soundtrack.

All the pieces picked up on the theme of mortality. This was poignant as the film was a collaboration between Anna Cady and fellow filmmaker Pauline Thomas who passed away due to a terminal illness during the making of this project. The installation consisted of a projection of the film onto the ceiling of the Cellarium at Mottisfont, with voices and the occasional instrumental piece echoing around the vault.

I recognised some familiar voices such as Hampshire poet Joan McGavin and (now) New Hampshire poet Brian Evans-Jones.  During the course of the hour-long piece, an occasional poem was read without accompanying images, which I felt worked well in avoiding over-stimulation of the senses. During pieces referencing the First World War, I found the images of swaying poppy seed heads suggested the outlines of soldiers in the trenches. For me the words had as much influence on my viewing of the images as the images did on the spoken word.

I felt that  this was an inspired and superbly executed idea. The atmospheric setting of the crypt allowed the words to resonate both literally and metaphorically with the listener.  I forgot to ask if Anna Cady had further projects of this nature planned, but I hope this is the case.

Posted in Film, Poetry Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *