Savinder Bual is foremost, a film based artist from the UK. She uses image as her subject matter in her works and is credited on the ‘simplicity and elegance’ of her works (comment by chair of lecture)
Bual began the lecture by presenting one of the earliest films made and that was the first screening in Britain – It was a static film of waves in the sea, a lot of movement was in this film. Movement is an aspect Bual likes to capture in her works-which lead onto her showing the first piece she created, ‘Flicker’ – a 20 second video of a candle made from just one photo. She has looped a sequence of black space, then the photo, then black space, and so on, shown at 1/25th of a second. This timeline of interchanging images is then played, giving the effect that the candle is flickering and even though it takes a while for your eyes to adjust to the image, this is a really clever technique that she uses. Film can be found here – http://www.savinderbual.com/flicker.html
Bual expressed that she has a passion for early film, their processes and how the projectors worked, and also has an interest in black space. She then began to describe how early films used ‘shutters’ to be played – these usually had 2 or 3 blades which would interrupt the film intermittently, with black space, resulting in the flickering effect which is apparent in early films. Her fascination with black space developed from her questioning, what happens within the black space, which is a totally fascinating to consider.
She then played another one of her films, “Train” – inspired by the Lumiere Brother’s film, “ Train pulling into a station”. This piece is similar to “Flicker”, in that it is also made from one photo, but this pieces sequence is two train frames, two black space frames, two train frames, two black space frames, and so on – the piece is in a 2.2 seconds looped timeline, and the film itself creates a fantastic perspective effect.
The lecture continued, discussing more of her more recent works, talking about working in Shanghai and also her films after this trip, using traditional children’s toys, which can be seen on her website linked below. But my favourite pieces by Bual were more of her early works, the first called “Myriorama” – from 2009. This is a 30 second film of a western scene, it was created by using rolls of paper which she had drawn on, this was then put onto a belt system and hand cranked, so the image is continuously looped, giving the effect you are travelling. I really liked this piece as I feel it combines film, sculpture and illustration, which has made a great combination. Also, I myself find old film and their processes incredibly fascinating and interesting, and this piece really embodies all that. Film can be viewed here – http://www.savinderbual.com/myriorama.html
My next favourite piece by Bual is called “Follis Arboreus” from 2010; this is a 52 second film and also uses an old film technique and illustration. This piece was created using a concertina system, where she has put her own drawings between the folds of the concertina; this is then pulled outwards away from the camera, creating a long perspective effect, depth and also black space. I like that this piece does this as it allows room for your imagination, as it’s so dark and the film is quite slow, so this would look great shown in pitch black.
Overall, I thought this lecture was fascinating, I thought Bual executed the lecture well – showing a wide variety of her works, telling us the inspiration for each piece and describing the processes in which they were made, she spoke with confidence and with a clear admiration to just create. I found her work astonishing, even though the films were short, the fact you can see how much time and effort that has gone into each piece is applaudable, her use of imagination to actually make what she wanted was also admirable. I thought the way she used serendipity in her work was really unique and impressive and the way she uses and recreates early film techniques is so innovative because she brings them into the 21st century with her fresh illustrative style. Bual has certainly won my admiration.
Savinder Bual – http://www.savinderbual.com/
1st – my own photo, taken on iPhone 4
2nd – http://www.newcontemporaries.org.uk/resources/4E/4E2F9B6F-DE68-4609-E9F3-E852DEB35F3B/920×0/savinderbual-2.jpg
3rd – http://www.ovgallery.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Savinder-Bual-%E2%80%9CFollis-Arboreus%E2%80%9D-pencil-drawings-layered-within-the-folds-of-a-concertina-DV-PAL-241-looped-2010-%E5%A1%9E%E6%B8%A9%E5%BE%B7%C2%B7%E5%B8%83%E5%B0%94-%E2%80%9CFollis-Arboreus%E2%80%9D%E9%93%85%E7%AC%94%E7%B4%A0%E6%8F%8F%E5%85%AD%E8%A7%92%E5%BD%A2%E6%89%8B%E9%A3%8E%E7%90%B4%EF%BC%8C%E9%AB%98%E6%B8%85%E5%BD%95%E5%83%8F%EF%BC%8CPAL-241-%E5%BE%AA%E7%8E%AF%EF%BC%8C2012-2.jpg