Teign Spirit (2009)

An animated ‘séance’, in which modern day Teignmouth, a seaside resort on the coast of south Devon, is haunted by joyous summers past, conjured up though archive footage.

Full Description

Teign Spirit matches the viewpoints and sea views of black and white holiday movies with those of the present day resort, captured in digital photography; using frame-by-frame compositing to mix high definition video and 8mm monochrome footage from the 1930s, matching viewpoints and sea views of the present day. The silent black and white footage has travelled in time - film, VHS, DVD - before landing in the digital present of stop-motion photography, video and location sound recordings. The Jones family holidayed in Teignmouth - then known as ‘The Children’s Paradise’ - from 1934 to 1939, just before the outbreak of World War II, their summer activities captured forever on black and white film. A lifetime later the town is still here: ships in the docks, bathers on the beach, people promenade... Teign Spirit celebrates this continuity, mixing these home movies with new waves: a twenty first century stroll along the beach, evoking the optical entertainments of the Victorian pier: the flickering still-moving images of the mutascope, a figure seen for a moment, held in the mind, then gone. Silent memories, coloured and transformed by the present; shifting sands and elemental forces.

Work metadata

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Artist Statement

Commissioned by Animate Projects for CABE's Sea Change initiative. CABE the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, and the UK government's advisor on architecture, urban design and public space. A Sundog Media production, made in collaboration with Stuart Moore.


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