Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Four autumnal adventures

 The arrival of autumn has been hurried to say the least, as I type in my cardie and jeans I’m wondering how just last weekend I was in t-shirt and shorts! I have been having all sorts of adventures but I wanted to take the opportunity of reviewing a couple of them here.

Home Free – film premiere

My good friend Stephanie Hazel has joined force with the sensational Amber Bayley to produce the short-film Home Free which explores public attitudes to homelessness particularly in the Brighton and Hove area. Can a homeless person be a hero? Can love cross the housing divide? The show portrays a realistic view of homelessness which will challenge common misconceptions of homelessness; it does so with great gentleness and is accompanied by a lovely low-key soundtrack. It was my great pleasure to attend the premiere of Home Free in the atmospheric venue of West Street Loft – this film will hopefully become available to the public soon.

Marks Hall – heritage day

Marks Hall is a large estate in Coggeshall, handed over to the public in the 1930s. The extensive property has been filled with forests, walled gardens and meadows – it would be a brilliant place to take active children or pet! The hall itself was demolished in 1950 – the most recent incarnation of buildings on this site from at least the Tudor period. Archaeologists have been exploring the site over the last few months looking for outlines of the building and clues about the lives lived there, on Saturday they hosted an open day with tours of the site. Finds included a complete Neolithic axe-head, and the largest collection of Hedingham ware in the country. The pottery combined with several boars’ teeth in the nearby middens would suggest this site had been a high-status site for many centuries. More recent finds include the pulley systems for calling servants, a Victorian doll and a thimble. I was fascinated by the thought of doing archaeology on a site which had stood firm until so recently…proving you really can find out new information through archaeology from a site in use less than 100 years ago!

Orphan Black –TV series

Bad news guys, BBC iPlayer have started premiering series online before they hit our TV screens. One of the shows in this series, as well as guilty pleasure Bad Education, is Orphan Black – a dark tale of mistaken identity. Sarah witnesses the suicide of Beth and noticing a close resemblance to her own self decides to take on Beth’s identity of in order to escape some of life’s inconveniences. Unfortunately Beth’s life is hardly peachy either and Sarah gets more than she planned through the swap. The opening to this sci-fi thriller was unexpectedly gripping and I will be booking myself some iPlayer time very soon to see episode 2. Although I will be waiting some time, it doesn’t come out on telly til the end of the month!

Project Space: Word. Sound. Power – Tate Modern

What do you do when you have spare time in London? One of the things I like to do is visit free museums. Word. Sound.Power is the first exhibition you come to when approaching the Tate Modern. WSM is a multi-genre exhibition examining the strength and impact of words to influence new ideas, identity and even systems of power. There are rappers from inner-London estates, films of Indian orphans, and photos of roof-top gangs. It is a highly emotive exhibition directly illustrating that words and even sounds (where one is unfamiliar with the language) can indeed have great power. The message of the exhibition is clear – even those with minimal political agency have a voice and could do great things when they raise them.

Words. Sounds. Power is a collaborative curatorial exchange between the Tate Modern London and Khoj, International on at the Tate Modern until 3rd November and is free to visit.