Video Art:

[Below:] Only When I'm Dancing (2005), DVD, 0mins 53 secs.

In the midst of the veils of everyday-life, sometimes you have to really look at what is there to really see…

Only When I’m Dancing (2005) incorporates the constant transitions between presence and absence into moving image, at the same time denoting a form of universal self-portrait. The piece refers to how one tries to break free from the constraints of everyday-life and routine… even just for a moment.

The piece functions on several levels: It exists independently by itself, in its own self-contained state of limbo behind the lens, playing continuously over and over again like a bad memory. Yet interestingly, the piece also serves as a vehicle for contemplation, offering a glimpse into an individual’s internal world.

"Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose." -Kevin Arnold.

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[Below:] Intrusion (2005), DVD, 0mins 31secs.

This is yet another piece, which exists in its own self-contained state of limbo behind the lens, playing continuously over and over again like a bad memory. This experimental piece is about exploring the idea of voyeurism, privacy and unresolved spaces.

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[Below:] Memory (2005), DVD, 0mins 20secs.

"As memory may be a paradise from which we cannot be driven, it may also be a hell from which we cannot escape." -John Lancaster Spalding (1840-1916)

This experimental piece was about exploring memory and the tension between familiar and unfamiliar spaces whilst reverting simultaneously from resolve and absolution to non-sensical and sporadic.

Memory (2005) i - Pui Lee

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[Below:] Silent Music (2005), DVD, 0mins 43secs.

This experimental piece explores the idea of getting lost in the moment; when sounds of the everyday becomes silence and ethereal.

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[Below:] Journey (2005), DVD, 2mins 30 secs.

This piece explores the idea of suspension and other worldly states. The video is intriguing and hypnotic, transporting the view to a place elsewhere.

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[Below:] Belonging (2005), DVD, 0mins 45secs.

This experimental video documented the action of using a door, entering one space and leaving another. The repetition of such an action allows us to view it differently. It could be interpreted as wanting to move forward but the piece also reminds us that we cannot physically be in two places at once...

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[Below:] I'm Here (2005), DVD, 0mins 16secs.

A guardian angel, a light, a shadow, a keeper...

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[Below:] The Waiting/The Release (2006), DVD, 1mins 48secs.

I am interested in ideas of consciousness and existence. - basically what it means to be alive in the context of our everyday constraints. There is a strong sense of: the in-between, inside and outside, the boundary, the theatrical, transient states, in all my works.

Played on a loop, this piece explored ideas about identity and our "place" in the world in which we inhabit. There are references to culture, loneliness, silence, anonymity, safety, inside/outside, journeys, perceptions, dreams and romantic notions.

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[Below:] Documentary of The Waiting installation at The Griffin pub, Carlisle. (2006), DVD, 8mins 06secs.

The Waiting (2006) took over all of the television screens in a popular Carlisle pub one evening for an art installation. I documented what happened. Some people noticed and were intrigued by the changes whilst others carried out with their usual business none the wiser to what was going on. During the official preview, an art audience appeared at the pub to observe and experience the piece. Here was an event when two worlds collided... the art world and the non-art world; and both became spectacles for the other.

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[Below:] Tied Down (2006), DVD, 1mins 37secs.

This work investigates the notion of a portrait of the human condition and points to our resigned fate of being tied down to our current existences, whilst exploring themes of waiting and stillness.

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[Below:] Passing Shadows (2006), DVD, 2mins 15secs. looped.

This short fine art film takes a glimpse into the very notion of existence. Feelings of déjà vu and memory are referenced here along with the concept of relationships to other people, who we may or may not know now in this life…

"We do not remember days, we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten." - Cesare Pavese (1908-1950)

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[Below:] Haven (2006), DVD, 8mins 06secs. video installation.

Click on link to view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIXzh5JYPNI

This piece, described as being “minimal yet poetic” at a previous exhibition, is the result of the artist once again transforming a space in the external world to portray an insight into a private world. On a more universal note, the piece can also be interpreted as being an attempt to escape from the world we live in today in order to exist in a more contemplative space. Essentially, all my works are an exploration of the silence we feel at some point in our lives, which I think is relevant to all of us. The following statement sums this piece up:

heaven
n.
1. a shelter serving as a place of safety and privacy
2. A place of refuge or rest; a sanctuary.

The installation, which consists of a large projection in a blackened space is designed to overwhelm the viewer’s sense in order to create an almost hyper-real experience of “heaven”, a play-on-words from “haven”, meaning a safe place free from danger and distraction.

Viewers from previous exhibitions have also remarked how “relaxing” the piece was resulting in an overall positive feedback. This had demonstrated that the piece was successful in transporting its viewers to another place of safe timelessness… –Even art sceptics and those with phobias of flying! It was noticed how most viewers seemed attracted by the intense blue of the sky and the clouds drifting by. The surrounding sounds give the illusion of being high up in the skies away from the constraints of everyday life. 

View entering (Haven (2006) video installation - Pui Lee

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[Below:] Untitled (window) (2006), DVD, 3mins 30secs. video installation.

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[Below:] Furniture (2007), DVD, 7mins 23 secs.

"We're just waiting to see what happens. He's taking his time." - Ron Everhart.

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[Below:] The Happy Couple (2007), DVD, 4mins 12secs.

Click on link to view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a71QG6Wen4

In essence, this piece investigates the breakdown of communication that sometimes exist in relationships, and what consequences occur because of this. Exploring the silence that we all feel at some point in our lives, the piece can be little uncomfortable to experience and poignantly, maybe acts as a mirror to our own lives.

In The Happy Couple, the viewer is presented with a white framed perfect picture of a seemingly happy couple. As both protagonists try their hardest to maintain their smiles and composures, this leads us to speculate whether all is as it seems? This piece refers to the facades that we sometimes create as human beings in everyday life.

"The dilemmas of interaction: how to decide on the facade we present to the world despite what's going on inside of us." - James Hancock

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[Below:] Workaholic (2008), DVD, 4mins 12secs.

The viewer sees the female protagonist by herself late at night working away at her laptop. We are hear nothing else except for the obsessive and slightly frustrated typing sounds as she seems to be trying to resolving something ... but what?

"When dreaming, I'm guided through another world, time and time again. At sunrise, I fight to stay asleep, because I don't want to leave the comfort of this place... because there's a hunger, a longing to escape, from the life that I live when I'm awake." - Anon.

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[Below:] Daddy Loves Me Really (2008), DVD, 4mins 12secs

Click on link to view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf3eYgILDXc

In this piece, the viewer is confronted with yet another family photo. -this time, of a little boy. Again, he does his best to maintain his smile and composure, but fails miserably as time goes on. The viewer hears an argument that gets increasingly more aggressive and uncomfortable and is left to assume that this is taking place in the other room, where we see shadows impatiently moving about. What amplifies the tension is the fact the viewer only hears one voice of the argument and is left to fill in the gaps themselves. Our voyeuristic tendencies draw us in and we demand explanations but simultaneously find ourselves wanting to switch off because we do not want to face up to the realities of everyday life. An "uncomfortable" piece, described on viewer.

 Other notes:

Regarding the following video pieces: The Happy Couple (2007); Daddy Loves Me Really (2008) and Workaholic (2008), these are individual works in their own right, but form interesting relationships and explore complex ideas when exhibited together. 

In essence, the video works are an investigation into the breakdown of communication that sometimes exist in relationships, and what consequences occur because of this. Essentially, the works explore the silence that we all feel at some point in our lives. The pieces are uncomfortable to experience and poignantly, maybe acts as a mirror to our own lives...

However, now that we are living in an era dominated by reality television, the addition of the Workaholic piece does lead us to carry out further questionning with regards to the authenticity of what we are seeing. Are the stories, circumstances and characters that we are presented with "real" or simply just the conjurings of a late night fiction writer...

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[Below:] Hysterics (2008), DVD, 0mins 33secs.

This video piece explores the in-between states in human expression. In this case, we see a female protagonist caught in between a state of laughter and crying. This piece involved slowing down the footage as a process to heighten the idea.

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[Below:] So Much It Hurts (2008), DVD, 0mins 26secs.

This never-seen-before video piece explores the transitional qualities of human expression. In this case, we see a male protagonist caught in a state of laughter. It is this in-between state that I am interested in. This piece involved slowing down the footage as a process to heighten his fleeting expressions throughout the laugh.

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[Below:] Tension-Hold (2008), DVD, 3mins 53 secs.

Click on link to view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnS6AHvjzGg

Here’s the situation: a protagonist is instructed to perform a tension hold exercise – holding the body in a squat position for as long as possible.

The viewer sees whether he does this with success or not.

His facial expressions has been recorded and slowed down to dramatic effect. We see the pain evident in his face, though interestingly, we get a sense that he is also simultaneously finding pleasure from the experience. A simple piece but compelling to watch. The piece references ideas of human endurance, will, hope, anticipation and inevitable failure.

"We are weighed down, every moment, by the conception and sensation of time. And there are but two means of escaping and forgetting this nightmare: pleasure and work. Pleasure consumes us. Work strengthens us. Let us choose." - Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)

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[Below:] Still Life: A Pause For Thought (2008), DVD, 5mins 53secs.

This timeless video piece explores the silence that we all feel in our lives. In this case, it refers to the momentary pause where we are temporarily displaced from the external world. The viewer catches the male protagonist in this particular moment where is is simultaneously there but not there, suspended in this state of limbo. We are deceived into believing that this is literally a still life, but upon closer inspection, subtle shifts in movement are detected as he lingers in this non-place. Perhaps he is in the process of having a conversation with us and pauses to think, but only as explicably so as a comma punctuates a sentence. My work fundamentally investigates aspects of the human condition and ideas of consciousness and transitional states.

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[Below:] Dead Diners (2010), DVD, 1mins 30secs.

 “Are we like those bored couples you feel sorry for in restaurants? Are we the dining dead?” – Joel Barish in Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (2004)

This video piece explores the silence that we all feel in our lives, focussing on the isolation that pervades our lives, whilst exploring the breakdown in communication in relationships. It offers a platform for contemplation – do we really live our lives or are we simply existing?

To begin with, we assume that the couple are at the point of beyond words or even communication. There is a sense of sadness and heightened sense of loneliness coupled with an incomprehensible feeling of inevitability as well, which makes for uncomfortable viewing. Here, we are given a poignant insight into someone’s relationship, which may well act as s a reflection of our own. There are isolated moments within the piece, which suggest a brief yet hopeful emotional connection between the two characters, for example, when they seem to peer at each other. Sadly, these moment disappear just as quickly as they do manifest.

Towards the end of the piece, however, it is revealed that the two characters are in fact leading quite separate lives, when a passer-by strolls past the woman… but not the man.

This piece refers to ideas of the middle and the end by exploring how time can affect relationships and communication. When silence appears so enveloping and so poignant, that time appears to be stuck somehow, yet the rest of the world carries on moving forward.

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[Below:] A Little Sincerity... (2010), DVD, 7mins 06secs.

Click on link to view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWrQZ6P6PCs

"A little sincerity is a dangerous thing... and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal." - Oscar Wilde. (1854-1900)

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[Below:] The Tree That Moves (i)... (2010), DVD, 4mins 58secs.

Click on link to view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBaXjUXkjhw

"Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it." - Confucious.

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*Please note: Better quality video links to come. Actual originals of older work unfortunately only available on mini-DV and DVD-.