On Overgrown Paths

2 Jul 2010 – 5 Sep 2010

Cost of entry

Free admission

Impressions Gallery

Bradford, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • For further information on local bus routes and times please visit the Metro website (www.wymetro.com).
  • By rail and bus Bradford Interchange is five minutes walk away from Impressions Gallery, with rail, bus and taxi services all under one roof. Bradford Interchange is only a 20-minute direct journey from Leeds station with links to the rest of the country.

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Three ramshackle wooden cabins, assembled by the artist from discarded wood and salvaged building materials, invite the visitor to explore. Inside, flickering 16mm films reveal the lives of modern-day hermits who live in isolated spots in Northern Europe.


Origin of the Species (2008) portrays an elderly amateur inventor and Darwin enthusiast living alone in the Scottish highlands, who devises his own technologies for day-to-day subsistence whilst pondering the workings of the universe and the scope of human knowledge. His monologue ranges from animal trapping to Big Bang theory. This is My Land (2006) observes the daily routine of self-sufficient Jake Williams, living in Aberdeenshire; whilst Sørdal (2008) focuses on an abandoned film-set found while searching for a hermit in Norway.

The subjects of the films offer a collective resistance to today's consumer driven lifestyles. Rivers was inspired by Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun (1859-1952), from whose work the exhibition title comes. Rivers says that 'many of his books focussed on individuals choosing to live out in the wilderness ' often people who had had a taste of urban society and yearned for something more solitary'.

All three films are made using an old Bolex camera, which has a very particular quality that cannot be digitally constructed. Projected in the environment of the cabins, they offer a unique audio, visual and tactile experience.

On Overgrown Paths is a Measure touring exhibition.

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