a message for whoever needs it
In a public park, where sunlight meets camera lens, a green dot appears. This green dot becomes a curious mediator between the filmmaker and the surrounding environment, facilitating the communication of ‘a message for whoever needs it’, an offering of compassion, into public space.
Flora Cullerne BownDirector
Project Type:Experimental, Short, Student
Genres:experimental, artist's film, short, improvisation, student
Runtime:5 minutes 48 seconds
Completion Date:February 22, 2023
Country of Origin:United Kingdom
Student Project:Yes - Goldsmiths University
As a filmmaker, Flora Cullerne Bown (b.1996, London) is intrigued by the myriad ways we can relate to our surroundings; public or intimate, urban or rural. Her work engages specifically with personal experiences of place rooted in the sensory and poetic. These concerns are reflected in her film-making methods - often incorporating diverse mediums such as writing, sewing, drawing and animation within her films, favouring a DIY approach by using what is close at hand, as well as approaching an embodied use of the camera through improvisation.
As well as films, Flora works with installations and workshops. Over Summer 2023 she delivered a series of Improvisational Filmmaking workshops along the River Thames in London at low tide, inviting participants to probe their relationships to the site through engagement of the camera and senses. The resulting collaborative film 'How far is the distance between us?' was exhibited at Goldsmiths 2023 Degree Show, where Flora undertook a Graduate Diploma in Fine Art.
Prior to this Flora was based in Berlin, where she completed studies in Experimental Filmmaking at MetFilm School, learning from filmmakers Nina Könnemann and Dagie Brundert. Her time there became the seed for her film ‘August/September rain’, a subjective mapping of the city, which was exhibited in the group show 'Internal Kaleidoscope: Urban Fragments' at IMT Gallery, London in November 2022.
I am often touched by messages left by others in public (flyers, stickers, tags) and simultaneously desire to communicate with others in this way. In an isolated city life where a healthy connection with strangers is lacking, I feel like messages of compassion go a long way.
In recent years I have been experimenting with improvisational filming - filming on the spot without a plan, as a way of coming into presence with myself and my surroundings. During these journeys I often find myself captivated and lose track of time. The coloured dot resulting from lens flare is one thing which captures me and facilitates entrance into an open ended space for playing.
At some point I began writing with it, and on my visits to the local park realised this could be a way to express a message into the public realm, from anon to anon. My original conception was to create a flyer with a QR code to this film, and to post it around London, entitled ‘a message for whoever needs it’.
I hope this offering, intended to be given from anon to anon, might give audiences a small sense of kinship with all the other anonymous people out there, as well as drawing attention to a sensory awareness.