Heidi Phillips sifts and searches through old films and found
footage, lifting imagery and sound to recycle into her own layered and
loosely structured narrative works. Increasingly, she is using old
technology such as radios and television sets as sculptural objects
within the space. Her use of moving images has progressed into a more
tactile approach with the physicality of the film medium itself. These
found-footage and hand-processed films entice the viewer into an
alternate reality where sailboats have character and disembodied arms
have hope. The program will conclude with the premiere of Phillips’
latest film series based on 8mm found footage bought from “Klass ‘A’
Auctions” in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Heidi Phillips: Mysteries of Light is a
retrospective look at Winnipeg filmmaker Heidi Phillips’ career in
conjunction with her recent award, the Manitoba Film Hothouse Award for
Creative Development. This award, designed to provide
recognition to the depth of local directing talent Manitoba right here
at home, is generously funded by the Province of Manitoba.
• Tribute to Scissors (1999, 3:20 min.) This very
rare first video was shot on a 3/4" U-matic camera and edited it using
tape to tape. The sound track is live foley using scissors and was
created for Alex Poruchnyk's video class at the University of Manitoba’s
School of Art.
• Isolating Landscapes (2007, 5:00 min.) Includes
found footage of landscapes, sailboats, and people washing in water.
Thematically, the work seeks to describe detachment and loneliness.
• Spin (2010, 3:10 min.) After a guest visit to
Winnipeg Heidi was inspired by Toronto super 8 filmmaker John Porter's
'Cinefuge' films where he swings the camera around himself. "In 'Spin' I
attempted to do the opposite by fastening the camera on myself and
spinning my little actors around me. This resulted in intervalometer
mayhem showing images ranging from spinning smiles to impatient waiting
for the next go around."
• Direction (2005, 10:30 min.) Direction is
an experimental documentary that explores the parallel between physical
and spiritual directions. Both film and video are used to reach the
desired visual effect. Video projections are shown through glass and
water which is then refracted onto a screen where it is shot using 16mm
film. The result is both captivating and restful as the light creates
many different shapes which are then mixed with the grain of film.
Descriptions of physical directions and tellings of experiences with God
are spoken from many different characters throughout the piece.
Thematically Direction deals with a personal desire to feel at home,
whether it is on the physical or metaphysical level.
• Discovering Composition in Art (2008, 2:00 min.) Discovering Composition in Art
uses found footage as source material for various darkroom experiments.
These failed attempts to capture “good composition” race before the
viewers’ eyes like flashing lights. “By using some of these guides we
can create exciting art from the world around us.”
• Revival (2009, 8:00 min.) A short 16mm
experimental film about isolation, risk and rescue, the film is derived
from super 8 films I found while thrift store shopping in Montreal.
“Watching them I was most drawn to the images of helicopters and the
barren landscapes. I reprinted the imagery using various darkroom
techniques and hand processed the results. Throughout the process I
found myself surprised with the results time and time again, which
motivated me to experiment even further.
• The Last Harvest (2010, 6:00 min.) An experimental
drama in which a man rustles about a vacant farmhouse in search an
object once treasured. As he explores his surroundings he is confronted
with the memories that linger on.
• Skydive (2011, 5:00 min.) A metaphoric reflection
on risk and the faith that it demands, using found archival footage to
create a story of jumpers who contemplate whether God will be their
parachute. Artfully scored and edited, the film creates a thoughtful
space, suggesting a move towards the unknown.
ABOUT HEIDI PHILLIPS
Influenced by the likes of Peter Tscherkassky and Janet Cardiff,
Heidi Phillips’ art practice straddles experimental film and
installation art. A practicing filmmaker and curator, Phillips has been
involved with a variety of projects including the recent multimedia
installation Residual, which uses experimental darkroom techniques to
manipulate footage of abandoned farms, shacks and churches. She
completed her MFA from Transart Institute in Austria in August of 2008.