Exhibitions Archive

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  • Frances Scott
    'CANWEYE { }'
  • 17 July to 2 October 2016

Focal Point Gallery is pleased to present ‘CANWEYE { }’, the first solo exhibition by British artist Frances Scott. This ambitious commission develops the artist’s interest in the apparatus of film within a three-part construction in Gallery 1. Here, different vantage points are offered on a new moving image work, filmed on 16mm in Essex and Venice.

This work develops out of Scott’s research around Derek Jarman’s Plague Street (1972), a drawing she speculates to be one of his set designs for Ken Russell’s The Devils (1971) – a film that Jarman later captured on Super 8, directly from the screen at the Elgin Cinema, New York. His reconfigured version The Devils at the Elgin (1974), concludes in a “blizzard of ashes”, and presents the set as Jarman originally envisaged. This ‘ghost’ adaptation becomes an invisible score for ‘CANWEYE { }’, in which Scott sets out to interrogate the rich material that exists around the periphery of a cinematic production. In this way, she considers the film to be displaced across multiple sites and times.

The work appears to orbit another film, and acts as a document-fiction to this unmade epic. The film embraces the instabilities within both analogue and digital processes, and like the partial structure in the gallery, exposes the materials of its creation.

In ‘CANWEYE { }’, the image of the film ‘set’ – between states of construction and deconstruction – becomes the main character in a meta-fiction within the context of the Thames Estuary. Comprising sequences captured on Canvey Island, in Southend-on-Sea and Venice, Scott interweaves historical narratives emerging from archival material, with accounts of the elaborate practices of Victorian entrepreneur and property developer Fredrick Hester. In the early twentieth century, Hester mounted an ambitious proposal for a facsimile Venice to be built on Canvey Island, featuring its own Grand Canal and Essex Rialto Bridge. In this sense, the work is both local and de-localised, where architectural or geological sites signify another kind of ‘set’ or presentation in construction.

About the artist

Frances Scott lives and works in London and Ramsgate. Her work has been exhibited at institutions including; KARST, Plymouth (2016); Swiss Cottage Library Gallery, London (2015); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015); AIR Central Saint Martins, London (2015); MK Gallery, Milton Keynes (2015); Block 336, London (2014); and as part of the Selected III videoclub and FLAMIN screening programme at Nottingham Contemporary, CCA Glasgow, FACT Liverpool and Whitechapel Gallery, London (2013).

Video clip

'Incipit' originates from latin, and means "it begins". It represents the first few words of a text, or in a musical composition, the initial sequence of notes. The work is a footnote to CANWEYE { }, and presents three musicians in the process of recording the film score, composed by Leo Chadburn. Here, the constituent parts of the score are compressed to present an altered temporal space.


Frances Scott, INCIPIT, 2016
Single channel film, 4 min 37 sec, 16mm film transferred to digital, colour stereo.
Courtesy the artist and Focal Point Gallery