Experiencing Interruptions?

these supple waters

'these supple waters' was originally commissioned by The Old Waterworks, Southend-on-Sea, 2019. The work resulted from investigations of conservation projects, ecological sites, estuarine communities and industrial histories along the Thames and Blackwater estuaries. Historically, the estuaries in Essex have been used as dumping grounds for the city’s waste, resulting in a "toxic cocktail" of refuse material. More recently, these sites have ceased taking landfill and have been as declared areas of scientific interest due to their complex toxicity.

The video incorporates footage shot in Southend during a research residency and documentation of a choreographic workshop I developed with dance artist Marta Ammendola at Pavilion Dance South West in June 2019. Using material gathered from the residency, such as passages of text, video & field recordings, the work responds to the estuarine landscapes and suggests the slow secretion of a toxic landscape, presenting the body as intermeshed and porous.

  • Emily Hawes
  • Amy Alicia (DoP)
  • Marta Ammendola
    Key Cast
  • Stella Kajombo
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Other
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes 41 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 30, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 GBP
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Exhibition, The Old Waterworks
    United Kingdom
    August 30, 2019
  • Exhibition, MK Gallery
    Milton Keynes
    United Kingdom
    February 14, 2020
  • Exhibition, Modern Painters, New Decorators
    United Kingdom
    October 11, 2019
Director Biography - Emily Hawes, Amy Alicia (DoP)

Emily Hawes is a visual artist, based in Bournemouth, working across sculpture, moving image & expanded choreography. With poetic tendencies & a non-linear approach, she proposes new relations to the body & the landscape, which are informed by Posthuman Feminist thinking & ethics of care.

She often works in collaboration with other artists, researchers & interdisciplinary practitioners. She is a member of GU Womxn, a female-focused support network for artists in Birmingham.

Emily Hawes studied at The Slade School of Fine Art MFA (2014) & The University of Brighton BA (2012).

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Director Statement

This body of work has been supported by a bursary from the Artists' Information Company & Arts Council England. As part of this project, I undertook a series of artist residencies – initially at Metal in Southend (May 2019) & then Dance Pavilion West in Dorset (June 2019).

I was curious to explore the intersections between somatic practice, movement scores & ecological ethics & whether it was possible to create an 'embodied choreography' through the medium of moving image. I worked with dance artist Marta Ammendola over 3 days at Dance Pavilion South West in Bournemouth, responding to a score composed of field recordings, text & video of specific sites across the estuaries, including; Mersea, Chalkwell & Canvey Island. The resulting work 'these supple waters' is documentation of the workshop, which explores movement that proposes bodies (both human & more-than-human) as emergent, active, entangled & slowly merging.

Formally, the work is split into 3 chapters, or episodes: 1. the sediment, 2. the land, 3. the studio/ workshop (where a poetic, layered voiceover recounts the intricacies of the sites), giving the audience a small insight into the process of making the work. I wanted the framing of the movement to reflect the ideas which underpin my research, such as Karan Barad’s intra action theory in which agency is not understood as an inherent property of an individual, rather ‘‘things’ are constantly exchanging and diffracting, influencing and working inseparably.

Drawing from ideas of embodiment, ecological ethics & work by seminal choreographer Anna Halprin, I wanted to think about how the estuaries have been shaped by human intervention and more-than-human ecologies, and speculate on their future rhythms and entanglements.