Eleanor MacFarlane

Moving Image
Artist

About 

Exhibitions

Selected exhibitions/screenings/projects/artist/curator

Shadows & Echoes Artist Residency, Crypt Gallery, St Pancras, London 2016

The Archive Project II London, online, 2016 curated by Eleanor MacFarlane, ongoing project

Voice of a Statue The Listening Booth, Collection 2, online 2016 curated by Katie Tindle

Abridged Covert Artist Residency, Royal College of Music, London 2015-16 curated by Eleanor MacFarlane

Facsimile Covert Artist Residency, Victoria & Albert Museum, London 2015 curated by Eleanor MacFarlane

Embedded Q-Art 14, APT Gallery, London 2014 curated by Luis I Rodriguez

Embedded TheNine, MA fine art show, Bank Street Arts, Sheffield 2014 group curated

Construction, Myriad, The Future Past Tense Fringe Arts Bath Festival 2014

Absolute Magnitude II Earth touring, UK, international 2014 curated by Eleanor MacFarlane

Which alters when it alteration finds Displaced, The Wiener Library, London 2014

Crucial Pursuit! The Financial Planning Game for Artists 2013 ongoing project

The Future Past Tense, Construction Q-Art, Wimbledon College of Art, London 2013

The Future Past Tense Picture This, British Dyslexia Association, Bracknell 2013

Myriad Slaughter & May Art Fair, London 2013

Transition, Personification University of the Creative Arts Gallery, Kent 2012 curated by Marta Patlewicz & Sebastian Kaye

Multitude The Art Shed, The Art Street, London 2012 curated by Eleanor MacFarlane

Seep The Body Sublime, Parlour Arts, London 2012 curated by Fiona Bradley & Mihaela Cristea

Vessels Secret portraits in bottles, Gallery of Wonder, Newcastle University 2012 curated by Irene Brown, solo exhibition    

Contraption Lightworks, Grimsby Minster 2011

Seep Modern Panic, The Old Abattoir, Guerrilla Zoo, London 2011 curated by James Elphick

Personification Rarities, Coastal Currents Festival, Hastings 2011 curated by Alban Low

theLongLine Big Draw event, London 2011 curated by Eleanor MacFarlane, ongoing project

theProgressiveImage Original Gallery, London 2011 curated by Eleanor MacFarlane

Absolute Magnitude I Sun touring, UK, international 2011 curated by Eleanor MacFarlane

theViewergallery online, onsite, popup art gallery 2011 curated by Eleanor MacFarlane, ongoing project

Seep Whitechapel Gallery, London 2010

Screenings theViewergallery 2010 curated by Eleanor MacFarlane

Ever Underground City, Divus, London 2009 curated by Michaela Freeman

I wonder if Gaze and Body, Rotoreliefs, London 2009

The Archive Project I London 2008 curated by Eleanor MacFarlane

Mirror, Signal The Bigger Picture, Cornerhouse, Manchester 2007

Viewer Contemporary Art on Vintage Equipment, Hornsey, London 2007 curated by Eleanor MacFarlane, solo exhibition   

Warp the.gallery@oxo, London 2007

Objectify Small is Beautiful, Royal Academy Schools Gallery, London 2007 group curated

Chairism The Opposite of Winter, Candid Arts Trust, London 2007

Contraption Free Range, BA fine art show, Truman Brewery, London 2006 group curated

Education    Art Practice

Education

Msc Psychology University of Hertfordshire, 2015 - 2017, current

MA Fine Art Open College of the Arts, University for the Creative Arts, 2011-2014

BA Fine Art First-class Middlesex University, 2001-2006

Fine Art Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, 2003

Art & Design Foundation University of Hertfordshire, 1999-2001

Photography City and Islington College, 1998-1999

Tape Slide Film Hackney College @Rio Cinema, 1997-1998

Textiles Open College of the Arts, 1989

Stringed Instrument Making London College of Furniture, 1985-1987

Viola & Viol Royal College of Music, 1982-1984

 

Many additional qualifications and training in teaching, mentoring, student support, current DBS, etc.             

 

Exhibitions    Art Practice

Art Practice

My art practice and methods of work evolved from childhood, noticing the way sunlight reflects on windows, or the sky darkens behind winter trees. As a lifelong migraine sufferer, I also experienced visual distortion and auras, beautiful glints of light and colour which I always found to be meaningful. As a child I was a great gatherer of information, adoring compiling projects. An early reader, I did not realise I was dyslexic until my 30’s, which had given me an utter fixation with text, words and meaning.

Like many creative people, I cite some childhood experiences as the blueprint to how I work now, my brain being hardwired in a certain way. Study, work and adulthood have certainly given me more ability to manifest my ideas and finish larger projects, but I feel I still think the same.

I compile vast collections of images, windows, shadows, suggestions.  Also ideas, phrases, stories I would like to write, films I would like to make. This archive is my collection of sketchbooks, and has become my preferred view of the world, in that when I see a particularly good cloud, I like to remember a cloud piece I made and see nature imitating art. I always refer to my own images for work, and consider the influence of other art equal to all influence – novels, films, music, science, nature, life and above all, people.

For a Moving Image work, I work on an idea of something I would like to express, perhaps the flow of time in life, or some experience of existing. This usually coincides with an image which comes to me. Grasping these fleeting ideas, I start to write, notes, words, trying to define to myself this notion. Equally, methods in expressing visually the tone of the idea suggest themselves to me – a way of printing, a use of light, a type of place or atmosphere.

When I get a starting point, my job is to keep that vision clear in my head while I try to manifest it, taking footage, visiting places to film, or making something. I work alone, and enjoy inventing solutions to problems I have created for myself. Gradually the elements come together, and I have enough to make the piece. Although I have a repertoire of editing techniques, I always find myself trying something different and inventing new methods to realise the piece. I work frame by frame, layer by layer, both polishing up my footage, and going where the technique suggests.

My musical training has given me a legacy of live performance. I would rather take video footage 20 or 30 times over to get it right, than to piece together a version from various segments. I also have a hands-on darkroom approach to the computer – it speeds up my work, but I will make an image dark rather than darken it using a programme, or I will distort it through glass manually when shooting. This pedantic approach may be subtle, but I firmly believe that it maintains the integrity of my vision, and also is picked up, even subliminally, by the eye, and even in digital video.

It takes several weeks to make each work, probably 200 – 300 hours for a few minutes. The title and paragraph for each piece I complete once the work is made, summarising my thoughts and researching older definitions of words to find apt meanings. The writing is partly to counter questions I may be asked about methods I use. I find myself unwilling to divulge techniques – it is rather like asking a painter about what number brush they used, rather than to look at the meaning of the brushstrokes.

Other types of work and writing I approach in similar ways – it all comes from a place of working through how to manifest an idea so that it is mine, so that I know what it is, so that it looks like mine and is my offering of how I interpret the world. I aim for such subjective things as beauty, essence, paradox, simplicity, complexity, and layers of meaning.

 

Assessing & Reviewing  

As Artistic Assessor in Visual Arts for the Arts Council, I am sent to about one exhibition a month to write an independent report, basically assessing the artistic content of the exhibition, whether it delivers, is coherent, well produced, and so on. As a result I have visited galleries and cities I'd never been to before, and spent time considering art I may have passed by.

As book reviewer, I am sent a few every month. I usually review books on art, artists, photography, music and culture. More recently I have been sent poetry to review, a challenge which I have really enjoyed. It is always a surprise to open up the parcel and see what is there - I have a lifelong passion for books.

It is something of a surprise to me how much of my activity over time has been in assessing and reviewing exhibitions and books. At school with unrecognised dyslexia, I especially hated summarising and found it frustrating and difficult. Sometimes we are drawn to such difficulties, like staring at a bright light we just can't tear our eyes away from. I am drawn to this type of critique, which is in essence a form of summarising.

Exhibitions    Education