We’re very excited to host our very first Experimental Film Week on Instagram this week! Each week day we’ll feature one-minute films by Submit to Love artists in collaboration with filmmaker Posy Dixon who spent 8 weeks at the studio before Christmas as an Artist-In-Residence. Utilising stop-frame animation, illustration, and hand-drawn text graphics, the films explore ideas of portraiture in its most open sense.
The film project was initialised by a screening of select short films including ‘You Return’ by Martin Creed (2014) and ‘The Girl Chewing Gum’ by John Smith (1976) as examples of simple techniques to create effective and compelling moving image. Throughout Posy’s residency, she worked with five artists to produce short films interpreting their individual take on portraiture.
From Chris Miller’s personal analogy of a volcano representing his brain injury to Sandra Lott exploring her changing relationship to swimming, themes of past, present and future are featured. Music lovers, Tony Allen performs and illustrates to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Hungry Heart’, and Sam Jevon creates a stop-motion animation to Neil Diamond’s ‘Love on the Rocks’. While Mike Poole took a collective and celebratory look into the community of Submit to Love as a whole. Each representation records a time, place or memory for the artists.
We posted our first, with Tony, today – but you can view all five over on our Submit to Love Instagram throughout the week.
We caught up with Posy, and curator Lisa Slominski who helped bring the partnership together, about the project…..
What were your first impressions of the studio?
Posy: The studio is unique – a no-bullsh*t space where people speak their minds, whilst being welcoming and warm. The members are engrossed in their work, but will break out for group discussions and debates, critiquing their own and each other’s work and ideas. It’s hard to articulate, but it feels free, and it makes you want to make stuff.
Lisa: There was such an amazingly intense feeling of support when you enter the studio. Meaning the supportive nature for the artists’ practice is so evident from speaking to the artists about their work, witnessing the conversations amongst studio members and watching the relationships between the artists and studio staff. Always good music playing as well!
What made you want to work with the artists there?
Posy: From just a few visits to the studio I felt drawn in, I wanted to get to know the artists and their work on a more personal level. There are so many different lived experiences in the arch, and I felt instinctively that I could learn from spending time there.
Lisa: The sense of community at the studio seemed ideal for a larger collaboration. I also viewed interesting and beautiful artworks being produced and hoped to bring this talent to a larger audience.
How have you found the process of collaboration with them?
Posy: Each collaboration was a micro-excursion into that person’s practise and personality – figuring out how I could adapt my go-to filmmaking techniques to incorporate their work / aesthetic / story or style. It’s been rich and stimulating – the main problem being more ideas than time available to execute them.
I’m so glad I could help support the collaboration between Posy and Submit to Love. Initially presenting the idea of a filmmaking project with Posy, it was cool that the studio members had immediate ideas and interest. Then seeing the outcome of the collaboration, it was amazing to watch the films as micro-portraits, almost like sitting and having a conversation with the artists themselves.
What’s the biggest takeaway/ thing you’ve learned from them?
Posy: The studio members are constantly trying out new techniques, pushing themselves and embracing new challenges. I have a tendency to be self-critical about my work, focusing solely on the finished product. My time in the studio has taught me to value the processes, relationships and learnings involved in making.
Lisa: Working on this project with Submit To Love, through spending time in the studio, my biggest takeaway is a renewed appreciation for collaboration. In particular, how collaboration can lead to unexpected successes and develop individual growth.
What’s next for you (work-wise)?
Posy: I’m working out ideas to create a film for the studio’s exhibition at the end of March, which will be based on my learnings from my time at the studio. I’m also developing my second feature documentary about a young Welsh performance artist.
Lisa: I’m working towards a curated exhibition in New York for later this year- which is really exciting. I’m also working with an artist on a large commission; and (thanks to the collaborative inspiration from Submit to Love), launching a new curatorial partnership with a London-based start-up in March!
Posy Dixon is a documentary filmmaker with a strong interest in experimental and educational formats of filmmaking. She is the founder of a cooperative film production company LUCA working in a variety of formats, from music videos to community arts projects. Submit to Love’s Experimental Film Week was lead by Posy Dixon and in partnership with Headway East London, LUCA Productions, Cinelab London, Exploding Cinema, and curator, Lisa Slominski.