Families who had previously participated in the Even Better Together sessions were invited to return for this 2-day workshop. They collaborated with artists Albert Potrony and Howard Matthew as well as Mathieu K Abonnenc whose work is included in Hydrachy: Power and Resistance at Sea, and who will be returning to Gasworks in winter 2011 for a three month residency, leading up to his solo show.
The workshops explored how Abonnenc’s film piece The Middle Passage combines extracts from Hollywood films with a self-devised soundtrack to convey journeys of slave transportation without ever once showing those being transported or the ships transporting them.
Finding their own way to create alternative narratives from varied source material, families chose images from a selection of personal postcards focusing on possible imagined sound effects within each image. Sharing and guessing each other's stories, families then created dioramas depicting scenes which eventually formed a sequence of settings for a final film.
To accompany the footage of each diorama and in line with Abonnenc’s practice, participants created their own soundtrack to add to the atmosphere of the narrative, making their own sound effects using found materials. The final film is a spilt screen video, showing both the footage taken by a video camera panning across each diorama and scenes of the accompanying soundtrack being created.
These workshops explored how the combination of moving images and sound can be deceptive, revealing how the role of the foley artist is part of a film making process that contributes to the creation of narratives often very different to a projected reality. By doing this, families created their response to Abonnenc’s own exploration of neglected histories of transatlantic journeys.
The finished film will be screened at a special viewing later this year.
Volunteer workshop assistants: Gemma Walker and Debbie Herring with AV support by James Marsden.