The Mother’s Bones, a film set on the Lizard Peninsula, by Cornwall-based artist Abigail Reynolds, will show at Plymouth Arts Centre this November as part of the Gallery in the Cinema programme of artist’s film.
Abigail has lived in St Just, Cornwall for the past decade. Reynolds responds to places and their histories through sculpture, collage, and in this instance, film. She has recently been awarded the BMW Art Journey, and is visiting the sites of 16 lost libraries on the Silk Road through 2016-17.
In The Mother’s Bones, Abigail examines Dean Quarry on the tip of the Lizard Peninsula, and its importance to the local community in the past and present. The film features St Keverne brass band, which was formed in 1896 from Dean Quarry workforce, playing in the quarry.
Music composed by band leader Gareth Churcher creates a sound-scape, moving the viewer across vast scales of time and space. Shots of the band playing are placed together with microscope images of stone from the quarry.
Abigail said: ‘Dean quarry is a strange and lonely place, scarred by industry. Having worked with the extraordinarily professional village band at St Keverne for an ongoing work Double Brass, I wanted to make a film that would celebrate their incredible skill and resilience as well as their history.’
Plymouth Arts Centre’s artistic director, Ben Borthwick, told D&CFilm: ‘I am delighted Plymouth Arts Centre is presenting The Mother’s Bones as an exhibition for the first time, having worked closely with Abigail throughout, from the discussions about the initial idea to final cut.
‘The Mother’s Bones is a major step in Abigail’s practice and consolidates her growing interest in filmmaking.
‘Her work has always been about the interweaving of the present with layers of history, myth, and memory, all of which are combined here in an important statement about the ways relationships between industrial communities, culture, and landscape are constantly reshaped.’
The title of the film points to the Greek myth of Deucalion and Phyrra in which a post-apocalyptic earth is repopulated by humans born from stones. She is influenced also by Russell Hoban’s novel Riddley Walker.
Plymouth Arts Centre has a long history of supporting artist’s film and has renewed this commitment through the Gallery in the Cinema programme, launched in April.
The first year of this programme presents a series of commissions and co-commissions by artists including Steven Paige, Kihlberg & Henry, Abigail Reynolds, Kayla Parker, and Grant Watson.
The Mother’s Bones is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. It is produced in partnership with Plymouth Arts Centre and Kestle Barton.
The Mother’s Bones is free to watch and will show at Plymouth Arts Centre cinema 1 -10 November (excluding Thursday 3rd) from 1-5pm. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays the film is shown 1-2pm/4-5pm (around matinees and private bookings). Running time is 14 mins.
(from a press release)