APPEARANCE Digital video 8:07 colour sound 2019/short extract

Just as a tree grows from its roots in the earth  towards the sky. The image in APPEARANCE seems to ‘grow’ very gradually from the bottom centre of the frame upwards, as the mist clears and the image reveals itself. Presenting a reflexive and phenomenological encounter for the viewer. The tree  is also ‘growing’ to become one of the most important symbols for the anthropocene.

A number of unpredictable and chance elements were involved throughout the filming process. Not knowing whether the framing was going to be acceptable, and what period of time it would take for the mist to either clear or become denser? And therefore how long before the appearance of an image which would be appropriate for a one shot durational film?

APPEARANCE continues my exploration of experimental and observational landscape film and the relationships between light, duration and visual transformation. And in the context of the viewing experience, the ways in which changes in light alter our perception of place and space in film.

Viewer response: ”The blank screen was a bit of a shock until I read your note. The presence of the Rooks calling to each other and the hum of traffic confirmed that there was something being filmed by someone. 

It was amazing how quickly the tree appeared from the mist. From no image to glorious colour in 8 minutes! The colours are gorgeous. The lime green of the pleurococcus on the limbs of the tree and the beautiful contrast to the rusty browns and ochres on the smaller branches and background fields etc.

I liked the contrast with the slim vertical aerial(?) just visible in the distance, and this contrasted also with the zig-saggy pathway in the field to the left, tractor tracks I imagine.

Just one or two birds flashing over the trees. It made me think of a face gradually breaking into a smile as the tree loomed into focus and the then slowly radiating its splendour.” – D Hadlow