BREADROCK is a film and sculptural installation that was originally created for PEER, by artist collective Fourthland (Isik Sayarer and Eva Knutsdotter) and artist and filmmaker Rosalind Fowler.
The work is a visceral homage to cultural history, memory and universal myth. Melding experimental and ethnographic filmmaking, the work presents a series of staged vignettes drawing on the rituals and artefacts of the Estate’s Bangladeshi, European, Kurdish, Serbian, Turkish, Ugandan and West Indian communities, to create new kinships, myths and culture.
Shot on 16mm film against the artists’ makeshift stage sets of textiles, paintings, and objects in a public garden on the Estate, BREADROCK, I feel like doing this manifests the inner worlds of Wenlock’s inhabitants: a Bangladeshi woman wearing her wedding dress buries a symbolic ‘umbilical cord’ in front of forty guests to mark her son’s birth; a West Indian man channels his deceased grandmother through an old-fashioned telephone and a cosmic donkey; another man surrounded by sheet music conducts an invisible orchestra and symbolic ancient rock, inspired by his love of geology; and others slowly process and gesture, holding bowls and plates aloft.
The soundtrack is a composition of raw sounds improvised from domestic household objects found in a resident’s flat.
Fourthland have been working with residents of Wenlock Barn since 2008, on projects connecting the land and people of the Estate. BREADROCK was Rosalind Fowler’s first collaboration with Fourthland.
The project was supported by Arts Council England, PEER, and the Paul and Louise Cooke Endowment. Sound edit by Alejandro Tarraf.
Rosalind Fowler is an artist and filmmaker interested in entanglement and participatory artistic processes as forms of re-enchantment, transformation and speculative enquiry.
She leads gatherings, workshops, performances and interventions in collaborative contexts, using these processes as starting points for creating film work, often in social settings. She has worked together with artists and across other practices such as sound therapy, herbalism, shamanism, astrology, horticulture, and scientific research, to create space for imaginative encounters and shifted forms of consciousness between diverse groups of people and with non-human forms of life.
Collective experiences, processes, materials and insights are performed, documented and re-visioned for film. The resulting work, combined with other imagery, weaves together experimental film, poetic ethnography, performance, and fiction. She sees analogue film as a form of magic with the ability to enchant and re-imagine, her haptic approaches to filmmaking echoing a tactile, sensory engagement with the land through the work, often then layered with digital and greenscreen imagery.
Recent works include All is leaf, so to amplify the wonder (2019) supported by ACE and Barbican as part of Walthamstow London Borough of Culture, BREADROCK, Chant of the Whaleswan Kestle Barton (2018), and BREADROCK, I feel like doing this, PEER (2018) in collaboration with Fourthland, and NowhereSomewhere (2016) a 2-screen film installation for William Morris Gallery, Barbican Foyer Art commission, and Somerset House’s Utopia season.