The journal of the Center for Documentary Arts, a nonprofit initiative to bear witness to suffering and promote the common good through the arts. At the crossroads of art, ethics, faith, and social justice, the Center brings together makers and thinkers whose work advances beauty, compassion, collaboration, dignity, and mercy.

29 June 2011

It Is All One Water

This short film by New Zealand artist and writer  Claire Beynon has been accepted into the Possible Futures Film Contest, an international competition challenging storytellers of the world to create a new vision for the future of humanity. The aim of the films and the contest is to redefine our relationships to human justice, environmental sustainability, peace, and individual fulfillment.

Using footage shot at Explorer's Cove, Antarctica and around Dunedin, on New Zealand's South Island, It Is All One Water reflects the director's long-running response to the ocean as a symbol for the elemental interdependence of life. This new film is a mysterious and beautiful addition to that work. The director twice collaborated on ArtScience projects in Antarctica with biologist Sam Bowser, and the footage here reflects ideas she explored there, introducing artist-made objects into the polar environment. The results are often spellbinding, as the objects — a small boat and a leaf-like porcelain sculpture — seem at once to surrender to the sea and dialogue with it. This is a potent metaphor for an alternative relationship to the one we've been having with the world's oceans, the BP oil disaster and on-going radiation contamination by the Fukushima nuclear plant being just two recent examples. The film's soundtrack combines original music by South African composer Chris Tokalon and narration by CB of a poem composed by herself with contributions from five poets in the US and NZ. This spirit of collaboration is integral to the film's meaning. 


Vespersparrow said...

What wonderful news, Tim! Thank you so much for spreading the word about the fabulous artist--poet--thinker, Claire Beynon. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Such a clear and insightful description of Claire's work, in this video and other of her multi-media projects. Thank you for posting this.

susan t. landry said...

i've played this through a few times already; once, to watch and let the images and words wash over me, and several times i've let it run as background music while i worked. it's a lovely statement, claire; calm, insistent.

and thanks to timothy, too, for calling our attention to this.

all best,


Timothy Cahill said...

Hello Melissa, Marylinn, and Susan, all. Thanks for looking in and for your comments. It's a pleasure to share with others CB's extraordinary work. Tell your friends! T

Rose said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely, liquid film on the "gorgeousness" of water and our connection/feelings regarding it. The sound track is perfect too.
Much luck to your friend on "winning", but entering is more than half the fun, isn't it?
Beautiful piece!

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