As a wild swimmer, the sea is the place I long to fully belong to. The poem is about this longing – the dissolving of borders between us and the natural world. The visual content is a mix of my footage of the sea and animated stills, starting with the urban image of sundown reflected in a net-curtained window. Following the narrative of the poem, the imagery shifts from man-made (windows and walls) into the wildness of the sea, through liminalities, for example, the reflected light on the wall – I'm always struck by the way in which, when it's slowed down, reflected light so closely resembles water.

  • Janet Lees
  • Janet Lees
  • Janet Lees
  • Stefan Kartenberg
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 33 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 12, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    Isle of Man
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • REELpoetry
    Huston, Texas
    United States
    January 10, 2020
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Janet Lees

Janet Lees is an artist, poet and poetry filmmaker. Her film-based works have been selected for many festivals and screenings, including the Zebra Poetry Film Festival, the International Videopoetry Festival and the Aesthetica Art Prize.

As an artist she has exhibited around the world. In 2018 she was the artist representing the Isle of Man at the Festival Interceltique in France, with an exhibition comprising art photography, film and poetry.

Janet's poetry is widely published and anthologised. Last year she had two books published: 'House of water', a collection of her poems and art photographs, and 'A bag of sky', the winning collection in the Frosted Fire Firsts prize hosted by the UK's Cheltenham Poetry Festival.

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Director Statement

As an artist, experimental filmmaker and poet, I am expressing and chronicling what it feels like to be human at a time when humanity is having a devastating effect on the ecological systems that sustain life on earth. All of my work is concerned with creating a mythology for our world. I use the camera as a storytelling machine rather than a documenting device. I believe that film and photography, alongside poetry, are among the most important and authentic means of creative expression in these unprecedented times.