Excerpt from Fertile Image
Fertile Image is an unfinished and ongoing series of 8mm film works. Unfolding over years (perhaps even decades), left incomplete and in a state of emergence, the project seeks to engage slowly with sacred ancient sites across the UK.
The first iteration of the film features footage shot at Chanctonbury Ring (South Downs, Sussex) and Mên-an-Tol (West Penwith, Cornwall). Both sites are known for their distinctive spherical forms – the former a prehistoric hill fort and barrow and the latter consists of an upright, circular granite slab, just over one metre high, with a circular hole 46 cm in diameter. Commonly known as a ‘hag-stones’, ‘witch-stones’ and less frequently, ‘adder stones’, such sites are associated with healing powers, sorcery and witchcraft, fertility rituals and occult practices.
Shot on Standard black and white 8mm film and transferred to digital, the footage is split into RGB channels and superimposed to create a mirage-like image, which directly references Ithell Colquhoun’s 1942 painting Sunset Birth.
The landscapes I have in mind are not part of the unseen world in a psychic sense, nor are they part of the Unconscious. They belong to the world that lies, visibly, around us. They are unseen merely because they are not perceived; only in that way can they be regarded as ‘invisible’.
- Paul Nash
Made possible by a 'Time, Space, Money Bursary' from a-n (2022)