Pastoral Drama (production still 05)

Jamie Crewe is an artist who joined us for two-weeks in May on the Experimental Film & Artists’ Moving Image residency, developed in partnership with LUX Scotland and the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival. Reflecting on their residency, Jamie has written:

“I planned for my time at Cove Park to be a lacuna. I had spent nine months making a new video work, Pastoral Drama, which involved daily filming in my studio, and I wanted to be at Cove Park as soon as I finished to break from this working routine. I hoped that, at the end of the two weeks I had on Peaton Hill, I would have found a way to rotate myself out of a production mindset and into an exhibition mindset, ready to return to Glasgow and prepare for the exhibition of the work — at Tramway, Glasgow, and Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin — in September. Accordingly I planned nothing for my residency. It was important for me to have unstructured time, and space to reflect on the work I had done without an expectation of more production.

I arrived in mid-May in bright, sunny weather, so I lay on the grass and read novels by Marie NDiaye. I walked down to Kilcreggan on the Shore Road, enjoying the wild garlic and cursing the lack of pavements. I smelled the gorse and gazed at the cows pissing in the studio pond. I began to draw figures on A3 paper, a few every day: demons (or harpies or furies) who had appeared in Pastoral Drama, and in these drawings averted their gaze and hid their bodies. I thought about the horror of isolation, partly because I watched YouTube rips of the 1970s rural horror series West Country Tales, and partly because, as a trans person, I felt I stuck out like a sore thumb, or else disappeared into misgendering. I read Andrew Asibong writing about Marie NDiaye’s work and this struck me: ‘the stigmatised subject quickly becomes used to the ‘strange’ (yet everyday) experience of her stigma being received with contempt in one quarter, horror in another, and indifference in a third.’ I wrote a text work for my exhibition that I’d been planning to attempt much later — it gushed out of me. Equally quickly I made a concept sketch for the exhibition installation, and a draft of the poster. In my time at Cove Park work creeped slowly and the arrived suddenly — the slow and spacious days allowed my thoughts to settle like silt. I came away with a lot of progress made, in ways I hadn’t predicted or planned.”

Jamie Crewe is an artist, a singer, and a vicious changeling who lives in Glasgow. They graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2009 with a BA in Contemporary Fine Art, and from Glasgow School of Art in 2015 with a Master of Fine Art. They have presented two solo exhibitions — Female Executioner, Gasworks, London (2017), and But what was most awful was a girl who was singing, Transmission, Glasgow (2016) — and have been involved in recent group exhibitions in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Copenhagen, and Vienna. Their book GLAIRE was published in 2017 by by Ma Bibliothéque, and they have presented their performance work Potash Lesson (2016) in Glasgow, London, Berlin and Belfast. Jamie is currently developing a new moving image work, commissioned by the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, as well as working towards a solo exhibition at Tramway, Glasgow, for September 2018.

Image: Jamie Crewe