I meant to write this a couple of months ago but it’s been a busy time in various ways and I’ve only now got around to it.
Anyway I spent 13 days over 3 weeks this summer shooting a short film of Laura Ellen Bacon working at Hall Place, a Tudor House situated about a 15 minute walk from where I live in Bexley. Art exhibitions are a central theme of Hall Place and visitors almost always have the chance to view an exhibition when visiting the house and gardens. Laura’s work was part of the Watershed exhibition, Laura was also the first Artist in Residence at Hall Place and I had the opportunity to film her at work.
Laura works with willow and makes large structures which are often placed out in the open, as was the case here. The weather played its part, starting reasonably well the first day or two but after that most days it seemed to rain – quite heavily sometimes. Pretty much your typical English summer. I think there were one or two sunny days somewhere in there, but Laura carries on working whatever the weather! So I had to rainproof the cameras a lot of the time. I was filming with a Canon XF100 and 2 Canon 5Ds. I had proper waterproof covers for the 5Ds but the XF100 had to make do with a cut down plastic bag – but then I do tend to improvise a lot with things like that so it wasn’t a problem.
As I live close by I could pop over for an hour or so, have a chat with Laura about how the work might progress through the day then maybe go back later for another hour or two. I felt it was important not to get in Laura’s way too much and allow her to work so I didn’t hang around any longer than necessary. So with a couple of weekend breaks this is how it went over 3 weeks. It was a great experience to be able to be there on pretty much a daily basis and watch Laura at work and to see the sculpture take shape.
Laura was assisted by her partner Robert Clough and both were a pleasure to work with, particularly as they shared their Rocky Road cake with me!