In December 2019 I took part in Öres - a month-long residency in the uninhabited island of Örö, Finland, part of the Archipelago National Park.
I explored every meter of the island on daily walks covering the diverse habitats of the island - shingle, sand, seagrass, meadows, rockpools, waves, moss, boulders, forests, wetlands - and the human remains from the island's military past - bunkers, tunnels, barracks. These encompassed different times of day, changing weather, the winter season drawing in. I documented these explorations through film, photography, words, drawings and ritual processes. I was able to have the time to really hone my camera skills until the lens became an extension of my mind - an extra eye. I developed new techniques - making filters from ice, recycled objects such a plastic bottles/beer cans and organic flora such as lichen, grasses and leaves. This was a nice progression from my Living Slides, integrating the materiality of nature into the fabric of filmic image in-camera without post processing. giving a new viewpoint through the eyes of the landscape; through the prism of nature.
This was an opportunity to spend a month completely focused on my artwork and ended up being revelatory in terms of overhauling my working practice, focusing my ideas and transforming and elevating my processes. The space and time and solitude provided a much-needed balm from my increasingly fraught mental and physical wellbeing resulting in a series of profound realisations about my practice, my personal life and wellbeing.
I made a diary of work-in-progress words and images which you can read below. This will form the basis of my film currently in development: Rose Tinted, Crushed Black. I have also ended up with hours of footage that I will continue to use in future projects.