Powder (2021)

I think this is probably an instance wherein the methodology behind the images is ultimately more arresting than the outcome itself, but having tasked myself with the challenge of trying to recreate the silent surface of the moon in response to the Kick-About No.29, I ended up working with some very earth-bound materials – principally, eight bags of plain flour, a plastic spatula for contouring, and three big glass paperweights.

That said, I must admit to a rush of fond filmic recollections, enjoying the way such humdrum materials could be turned into other-worldly vistas. One of my great excitements as a kid was learning how film-makers produced their special effects, kit-bashing spaceships from bits of Airfix models, or lining the corridors of futuristic sets with cheap plastic food containers bought in bulk and glue-gunned to the wall.

That I was able to recreate a lunar landscape on my dining room table, using the simplest means, reminds me of the power of imagination and the importance of play.

The ‘surface of the moon’ as it manifested in reality – a large plastic seed-tray filled with flour!

9 thoughts on “Powder (2021)

  1. Isn’t it mad how some flour and a bit of soft box light can produce something so unworldly!? I love when you get that exact epiphany moment where you can create something so profound from something so little, just like what you’ve found here X

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    1. Absolutely – the history of ‘special effects’ and cinema magic is full of ‘magic seeing’ – that moment when you realise that you can ‘achieve the moon’ on a shoe-string budget etc. It’s about that ability to divorce what things are from what they might also be. It can be very ‘resetting’, because you realise you can do what you like!

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      1. Indeed! I think it really shows in older live shows too! like in theatre I always loved the “pepper ghost” effect where the audience saw the ghost but in reality it was an actor under the stage being projected through a sheet of glass 😄

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    1. Hey Kerfe – thanks, and yes, there’s something very direct and instinctive about using real world stuff and sort of ‘decontextualising it’; one of my favourite projects I used to run with my students was the sound design project, wherein they were banned from using any commercial sound effects, but had to produce creative soundscapes by recording sounds ‘out in the field’ and then processing them and combining them to create new imaginative textures – the trick was always to be able to divorce the sound being made from what was making it – magical listening, if you like.

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