The film was part of a project and exhibition initiated and organised by Artist Clare Smith. It was made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England. More info: studio308ltd.co.uk/projects/stitched-time/
“With this film I wanted to combine the constant repetitive action of the stitch with the leisurely, conversational reflections of a group of artists; ‘the stitchers.’
“There’s something about the ease of conversation when your hands are busy” – a ‘stitcher’
– A group of artists who have implanted themselves in a sweat shop of sorts for a wholly different, less practical set of purposes.
I wanted to mimic the process the stitchers were going through by editing the footage I took systematically, whilst also attempting to evoke the experience the stitchers where having, that the process itself was in a way facilitating. I am interested in the places we go mentally whilst doing a relatively easy manual task. The mind being occupied just enough for the imagination to run free.
I started by trying to keep an even rhythm but cutting every 4 seconds, like the sides of a square. This was my starting point. The different shots and angles were grouped together in sequences, for example you will see at the beginning you see 4 wide shots of the table with the stitchers stitching; front, back left and right; show these four shots four times and you’ve got a sequence with a kind of mechanical rhythm. As you will see I nearly always subvert the sequences in some way, allow some kind of human, less disciplined element to break through. The scrolls themselves are never identical and each one is a highly personal approximation of a geometrical sequence filled with unconscious individual touches and mistakes.”