Digital Video and Audio Art
by Eleanor MacFarlane

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Artist Statement

Perhaps we are as shadows, or clusters of molecules comprising form, apparently moving and having something to do with each other. Streaming humanity, shades of substance, in effect more alike than we are different.

My Moving Image is non-narrative, poetic and abstract. My subjects are generated by scientific and optical ideas, by way of a philosophical translation into form. So the meaning of my works can be traced back to universal truths concerning light and shade, or the pull of magnetism and how that is akin to psychological tendencies. I never came across a scientific theory or astronomical fact that I couldn't relate directly to my own thinking, or the human experience. It is as if the Universe is a model of the internal experience, subject to laws, some of which we can comprehend. My work is a quest to translate such nebulous ideas into form.

My practice is also informed by years of photographic experimentation. I have a highly developed aesthetic style, and create images without computer manipulation, tricking the camera into revealing layers of reality. I have an inventive, low-tech approach to work, striving for simple ways to show layers of complexity and paradox. In many ways I see my videos as multi-faceted photographs, or photographs which exist in time rather than on paper.


Originally trained as a classical musician at the Royal College of Music, an interest in Renaissance music led me to the wonderful diversity of stringed instruments of the time, and I then studied Instrument Making. With children on board, I had a variety of occupations, including hatmaker and book reviewer, all the while drawing, painting and writing. Photography led me to making moving photographs, and in Moving Image I found my medium. I retrained in Fine Art, gaining a First in 2006. My practice is mainly in Moving Image and Art Contraptions, and also writing, in art and novels. I am currently amongst the first cohort of an innovative distance MA in Fine Art with the Open College of the Arts. I still review books on arts, photography, culture music and poetry.

I am an Artistic Assessor in Visual Arts for the Arts Council, where I am sent to exhibitions in Moving Image, Film/Video, New Media and Photography to independently assess the artistic quality, and also an Arts Mentor for the Koestler Trust, mentoring artist exofffenders.

Eleanor MacFarlane's website

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