James McColl Devon, United Kingdom
I am a visual artist, writer and filmmaker based in the South West. My work mixes performance, installation and film and I am one third of First Line Theatre, a theatre group producing site specific performance art.
As a visual artist, my work focuses on turning passive experiences into active ones. I focus on minor life experiences that are largely dismissed or forgotten about yet say a lot about our collective lives. I use film and performance as a way to engage with larger social issues through simplistic and sometimes abstract actions that aim to transform passive audiences into actively engaged ones. I strive to take my work out of dedicated art spaces as I believe there is disconnect between the art community and the general public.
People passing all around. Cars, voices, noises blurring into background sound. Faces one by one fading into the distance. Basic Space explores how easy it can be to feel completely alone in a busy city street. People bustling all around. Nameless faces passing by. The isolation that can be felt in the everyday, even when surrounded by people.
Follow 2 astronauts as they embark upon a journey across the city. Together and alone, on a quite quest for connection. This visually compelling pilgrimage across a familiar landscape explores what many endure on an everyday basis. With themes of mental illness and isolation Basic Space is a reflective journey that delves into our need for connection and what happens when it is lacking. For intimate audiences, each audience member is given a headset connected to pre-recorded audio as we journey through the city together.
First Line Theatre made up of: Bethan Highgate-Betts, Dan Davis & James Mccoll. @FirstLineTheatr
Supported with residencies from The Bike Shed Theatre Exeter, Exeter City Council and Bristol City Council.
Medium: Video Art
Video artist, James McColl, wants to tell you about his Nan. He wants to show you the life of this strong, self-reliant, eighty-six year old woman. He wants to celebrate age.
Having discovered the family archive of super-8 home movies, James has retraced the different parts of my grandmother’s life; stitching together family holidays, gatherings and present day interviews. He explores her coming to grips with deteriorating health, and how she reflects upon life through these gathered memories. This is a celebratory film, it is not mourning the end of her life, but sharing her thoughts with the privilege of hindsight. The work is an attempt to talk about our cultural fear of ageing.
There is joy in old age and nanny Small is living proof.
*Developed as part of a 'OnDisplay' residency program at Unit10, Bristol.