Developed as Gasworks’ participatory artist in residence, Seth has been working with Poles Connect for over 9 months, a local group that seeks to connect and support Polish women of all ages across Lambeth and Croydon.
Through workshops with different generations of women from the community, Seth has explored the intersection of their personal biographies – for example, the experience of becoming a mother and raising children in a foreign country – and national histories of Poland. Ciągle pod górę (‘All the time uphill’), takes the form of an operatic odyssey up Streatham Hill. A Polish mother is forced to confront her anxieties around the hostile atmosphere of her adopted country, and her ambivalent nostalgia towards her native one, as well as her feelings about her young son as he grows, as he must, away from her and Poland.
While Seth works on ‘Ciągle pod górę‘, his previous collaborative efforts will be shown in the gallery. Seth’s work explores something personally relevant to the people he works with: the history of an idea, a private interior world, or unresolved anxieties and experiences tied to their circumstances and identity. Workshops involve a process of creatively engaging with their concerns, and place a certain faith in the power of the imagination to master one’s own narrative. This process organically suggests certain modes, genres or methods of filmmaking, and together they embark on a collaborative development process.
These might take the form of science fiction films developed with children (Reality and Technology Enterprises, BFI/Welcome Trust, 2015), or experiments in 16mm with the singer Ladan Hussein (Season of Doubt, New Contemporaries 2017), which will be available to view at Turf over the duration of the residency. ‘The Wind from Nowhere‘ (2016) will also be screened, a more personal film that explores the artists’ own memories, developed using many of the same techniques he employs when working with other people.
During the residency Turf will also host:
– Rehearsals with the Ciągle pod górę group in preparation for filming.
– A family film-making workshop on Saturday 2 December, 12-2pm. A drop-in workshop for children of all ages: explore the possibilities of green screen technology and camera techniques to create fun moving portraits of you and your family.
– An artist-led crit on Saturday 16 December, 12-2pm
The residency will promote Seth’s project with the local Polish community, but also invite the public and those involved in the project into the collective spirit and energy of his wider film work.