“Unlike the landscape painters and photographers of the nineteenth century, I have avoided the objective view point implicit in panoramic vistas or depictions of homogeneous pictorial space. I have instead concentrated on ‘close up’ detail and the more transient aspects of the landscape, using the flickering, luminous characteristics of the film and video mediums, and their respective technologies, to suggest both the beauty and fragility of the natural world.”
Born in Exeter in 1948, Chris Welsby studied at Chelsea School of Art and The Slade School of Art, and was an early member of the London Filmmakers’ Co-operative. His films and film/video installations have been exhibited internationally at major galleries such as the Tate and Hayward galleries (London, UK), the Stedelijkmuseum (Amsterdam, Netherlands) the Musée du Louvre and Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France), the Museum of Modern Art (New York,USA), the Carnegie Institute, (Pittsburgh,USA), the Western Front, (Vancouver,Canada) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto,Canada).
Welsby’s work is characterised by a rigorous and experimental exploration of the relationship between natural systems inherent in the landscape, such as weather patterns and tidal flow, and the systematic methods and apparatus of filmmaking used to represent them. He has been working primarily with digital media since 1993, and is currently developing and exhibiting interactive video installations with collaborators in the fields of computational poetics and interactive audio environments, most recently dance, with the project Heaven’s Breath. He lives on a small island in British Columbia and he is Professor of Fine Art Film And Video, at the School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada.
Founded in 1966, the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative started life at Better Books, a counter-culture bookshop on Charing Cross Road, where a group led by poet Bob Cobbing and filmmakers Stephen Dwoskin and Jeff Keen met to screen films. Initially inspired by the activities of the New American Cinema Group in New York, the London Co-op grew into a pioneering organisation that incorporated a film workshop, cinema space and distribution office. During its four-decade history, the Co-op played a crucial role in establishing film as an art form in the UK and participated in a vibrant international film scene. This BFI Player collection brings together new scans of films distributed by and/or produced at the London Co-op.
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