A programme inspired by the complexity of memory. Read more
The Swimmer and the Forest used sound, film and text to examine what happens when someone is unable to construct a rational account for a persistent and deeply troubling memory. The film depicted a swimmer struggling through dark water, intercut with sweeping images of a dark forest. Accompanying it was the voice of a Soviet conscript recounting details of a terrifying exhaustion-induced hallucination experienced while on night patrol at the edge of a vast snow-covered pine forest. This consisted of two different recordings made seven years apart, and revealed distinctly different accounts, corresponding to deeper political shifts. As he struggled to form a clear image of that terrible night, other memories intruded and the distinction between the real and the imagined became increasingly unstable.
Shona Illingworth creates evocative video and sound installations that explore the experience of memory and the formation of identity in situations of social tension and trauma. Shona has worked closely with scientists to explore the complex psychologies of individual and collective memory, particularly in circumstances where a sense of self (individual or collective) is under threat, to examine how this informs our sense of place and location.