While making Chwedl Dwr I realised how water has been a big part of the work I have made and continue to make, both in my own art practice and through collaborations and commissions. Below are just some of the videos where water is a major feature.
In 2012 GWRANDO was commissioned to create work for Finding Rhayader with CARAD. The film below was shown in the gallery there as part of an exhibition that year. More info here
This short film includes spoken word and vocal performance, and harmonium. These are layered with field recordings and underwater recordings made in and around Rhayader in June 2012. The traditional song Banks of the Ohio, included as a tribute to Rhayader-born Maralene Powell, has been reworked into Where the Waters Flow Down which was recorded in Rhayader’s Community Museum gallery, played back and then re-recorded several times, in a process developed by experimental composer Alvin Lucier in 1969. In each recording, Laurens added a new layer of harmony. Each verse you hear in the film soundtrack is taken from a successive recording, the original sound signal transforming into a soundscape generated by acoustics response of the gallery. http://www.gwrando.org
This experiment in visualising the human voice is made by placing an underwater speaker just below the surface of the water, the skylight above reflecting on the surface which is moved by the sound creating the patterns seen. The video below uses the same song but with a spotlight.
T H E M E R M A I D Performed by J U L I E M U R P H Y
Recorded and filmed by J A C O B W H I T T A K E R at Alboro Castle, Llandudoch, Wales on 13.10.14 Additional footage shot at Poppit Sands and Aberystwyth
With special thanks to dear friends Ceri Owen Jones and Elsa Davies for sharing the song. Pete, Tracy, Willow and Brook at Alboro for sharing their house and Brook’s piano. Marie and Maria at Lush designs for the mermaid lamp. Sarah and Rowan Glan y Mor for the mirror
Poems by Maggie Harris
From Sixty Years of Loving, Cane Arrow Press: To an Afghan woman poet For Leonard Cohen
From After a Visit to a Botanical Garden, Cane Arrow Press: Place of Stones
Prose extract from Kiskadee Girl, Kingston University Press: And you, my country
Layers in the Landscape was a commission by Erin Kavanagh looking at stories and science in Cardigan Bay. With Erin Kavanagh, Lynne Denman, Martin Bates, Maria Hayes, Diarmuid Johnson, Peter Stevenson and Jacob Whittaker. The project was supported by the ISRF and UWTSD.
Documentation for a performance in Aberystwyth Arts Centre 2013.
Made for Rhod 2010 the installation included a projected video from inside Clos Y Graig chapel in Drefelin (http://www.vimeo.com/12617826 ) and this film on an LCD screen alongside. As well as the sound on this video, a number of speakers placed along the approach to the screens played sounds of the river recorded at various points along the journey from the mill to the chapel.
One of the first films I made with a half decent camera, this was a good test for a new rain cover! Audio improvisation with keyboards and drumloops in Audiomulch.
A collection of short films made with artist, folklorist and storyteller, Peter Stevenson. Extracts of these are part of the longer film ‘Fairytale of Water / Chwedl Dwr’ commissioned by WOW film festival 2021 for Ecosinema: reflecting on water.
Really excited to have made it through to the final selection for Wales International Film Festival with this wonderful project devised by Sianed Jones. Screening is later this week! https://walesiff.sparqfest.live/en/index.html
Cân Elenydd conjures a family mythology forged across three generations.. a handbag is found filled with first world war letters.. a sister Dilys Lewis writes to her brother Dai Lewis in the trenches.. a mystery Mr J.R.Owen replies.. a daughter Mary Lloyd Jones paints and connects to the Devils Bridge landscape.. brothers Dai and Ardwyn Lewis carry a harp on their backs playing and singing to local communities.. an artist Maria Hayes re-enacts a protective Swyn of love, joy and forgiveness rooted in the healing powers of a circle.. a granddaughter Sianed Jones weaves all the stories into song.
Beneath the west Welsh waters are stories – flood myths – that tell of a time when you could walk across Cardigan Bay to Ireland. Above the sea are forgotten fairytales that tell of dreamers who built utopian lands, old ladies who made love potions with well water, and rivers who were seen as people. Using old methods of visual storytelling that gave rise to the fledgling film industry, filmmaker and sound artist Jacob Whittaker and storyteller and illustrator Peter Stevenson take a journey through time to hear these lost voices in the water. Specially commissioned for WOW.
Join us for the premiere on Zoom, where there will be the chance to meet Peter and Jacob, ask your questions about the film and share your own watery stories.
Ffilm gan Jacob Whittaker a Peter Stevenson, yn seiliedig ar gelf Valériane Leblond, gyda cherddoriaeth gan Ailsa Mair Hughes, ac Elsa Davies a Ceri Owen-Jones.
Wedi’i wneud ar gyfer yr arddangosfeydd – Meddygon, Swynion a Melltithion: Monongalia Arts Center, Morgantown, Gorllewin Virginia, Mai 2019.
Chwedlau, Cwiltiau a Chranci: Amgueddfa Ceredigion, Aberystwyth, Cymru, Hydref 2019 – Ionawr 2020.
Noddwyd gan Gŵyl Chwedleua Aberystwyth
The Story of Siani Pob Man of Cei Bach, Ceredigion.
Film by Jacob Whittaker and Peter Stevenson, based on the art of Valériane Leblond, with music by Ailsa Mair Hughes, with Elsa Davies and Ceri Owen-Jones.
Made for the exhibitions – Curers, Charms and Curses: Monongalia Arts Center, Morgantown, West Virginia, May 2019.
Stories, Quilts and a Crankie: Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales, October 2019 – January 2020
Sponsored by Aberystwyth Storytelling Festival