My practice analyses social and personal narratives. I’m interested in the processes of filmmaking and questioning the reliability of the narrator.
Alex Culshaw is an artist filmmaker, whose works explore social and personal narratives. By addressing the political and drawing on the poetic, her work confronts the reality of documentary and fiction filmmaking. Motivated to play with an audience’s encounter with moving image, she often uses live performance and ongoing, cyclical narratives with the intent to prompt further discussion, reflection and questioning. Often, the (un)reliable narrator is present in her work.
Alex graduated from Royal College of Art with an MA in Sculpture – Moving Image (2015 – 2017) and studied BA Art Practice at Goldsmiths University (2009 – 2012). Alex has exhibited and screened her work nationally and internationally, including recent exhibitions and screenings at Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2022, Aesthetica short film festival 2021, Chicago Underground Film Festival 2020, Glasgow International Film Festival 2020, South Kiosk Gallery, London 2019, Flat Time House, London 2019, Jerwood Visual Arts, London 2017, The Coniston Institute & Florence Arts Centre, Cumbria, 2017.
HD Video / 11:22 min / 2019
‘The Ripple’ is a short film based on concepts of collective storytelling and mass hysteria. The film focuses on the 2015 incident in which forty pupils simultaneously fainted during a remembrance Day assembly at Outwood Academy in Ripon, North Yorkshire. As no specific cause was identified, there was an immediate torrent of assumptions and speculation. The film uses local children to retell the story, and examine the media and community reaction.
Young actors, dancers and performers from Ripon and the surrounding area took part in filming between the 9th and 14th of July 2019 at the Ripon Amateur Operatics Society. The Choreography and movement was led by Rees Dance. The performances were filmed by Alex Culshaw and Wayne Sables, and the music was composed and performed by Benji Jeffrey.
Performers: Tyreece Abdy, Lilly Aikman, Abigail Benson, Gabriel Balme, Emily Briscombe, Oliver Briscombe, Harry Cobley, James Cobley, Lucas Crichton, Holly Dunkley, Abbie Goodwin, Charlotte Goodwin, Thomas Hallam, Frankie Hewitt, Fraya Hewitt, Elanor Jones, Theo Kendrick, Nancy Manners, Leah Osborn, Tristan Paris, Michael Pearce, Carys Peedell, Nia Peedell, Ella Salden, Thomas Salvini, Alex Sanderson, Edith Scott, Natasha Stocks, Jack Wright.
The pictures eventually came on…
HD Video / 12:24 min / 2021
‘The pictures eventually came on…’ reflects on two pandemics, through digital images, diary entries and conversations with family. Excerpts from the artists’ Great-Grandfather, Bertrand’s diary, written between 1917-1919 while serving in the army during WW1, are juxtaposed with conversations about the diary and images from the artists’ camera roll between March 2020 – April 2021. Through digital glitches, quotidian moments, scrolls and stillness, the film offers a reflection on how diaries, both visual and written, express without being overtly expressive and rarely offer a full or comprehensive narrative. While the two pandemics are distinct, moments of limbo, tedium and loss echo in both diaries.
The title is taken from Bertrand’s diary, when he went to the cinema in Batumi, Georgia, while on his journey back to England after Armistice Day, following his recovery from the Spanish Flu.
HD Video / 60:05 min / 2022
A collaborative and improvised work that brings together ancient healing vibrations with modern modality to open the mind and take the audience on an internal journey of discovery.
Sound, recorded live from a 1 hour performance by Antonio LoBue and Claire Keating
Visuals, by Alex Culshaw
The visuals have been made in response to the sound through live image mixing and with audio responsive effects. The edit is not fixed and new iterations will be made over summer 2022.