Liquid Gold is the Air
Liquid Gold is the Air
Please note – this is a single screen version of one 15 minute loop of Liquid Gold is the Air, it includes title and credits which do not occur on screen in the installation which continually loops with no clear beginning or end.
Summary Statement (300 words)
Liquid Gold is the Air is a three-screen video installation created by Rosemary Lee and filmmaker Roswitha Chesher. The work was created using an interdisciplinary approach with an intergenerational cast of professionals and non-professionals. It was shot in the Cathedral of Trees (Milton Keynes) and tours to cathedrals and chapels where it runs continually on a 15-minute loop.
The research aimed to:
- Experiment with the combination of portrait and landscape orientations and traditions in every aspect of the creation (choreography, camera operation and placement, pre- and post-production), to capture the qualities and enhance the relationships of woodland site, ensemble and individual.
- Investigate the relationship between the arboreal world the research emerged from and the sites in which it would be experienced.
- Test a painterly approach to its creation to enable the viewer to begin viewing at any moment and grasp something of its entirety.
- Test the potential of the form to capture a graceful presence from each performer, regardless of experience or age, and to magnify the extraordinary in them and their verdant environment.
The research investigated the formal and affective potential for an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on three distinct but related disciplines; visual arts practices, screen-dance, participatory practice. Through the exploitation of the combination of landscape and portrait orientation and traditions, Lee extended her investigation of the human figure in relation to their environment, as seen in previous video works – from boy,1 to Without.2 In the simultaneous combining of portraits of individuals with landscape shots of ensembles, she explored ways of enhancing the presence of individual, community and the environment and their interwoven relationships. This work speaks to other artistic practices, from Giotto3 to Bill Viola,4 in its siting and implementation of the form of a triptych altarpiece.
- Lee, Rosemary (1995). boy. BBC: Dance for the Camera. [film]
- Lee, Rosemary (2013). Without. Derry Londonderry: City of Culture, Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company.
- de Bondone, Giotto (1330). Stefaneschi Altarpiece. Rome: St Peters Basilica. [painting]
- Viola, Bill (1992). Nantes Triptych. France: Centre National des Arts Plastiques.
Co-creation of Liquid Gold is the Air:
Liquid Gold is the Air was co-created by choreographer Rosemary Lee and filmmaker Roswitha Chesher. The work was inspired by the live work – Under the Vaulted Sky – conceived, choreographed and directed by Rosemary Lee. The choreography in Liquid Gold is the Air is therefore directed and adapted for camera by Lee alone. All other aspects of the making were collaborative, from co-directing the shooting to all the post-production and editing decisions.
Main Production Credits:
- Directed by: Rosemary Lee and Roswitha Chesher
- Original concept and choreography: Rosemary Lee
- Soundtrack: Graeme Miller
- Music: Terry Mann
- Edited by: Roswitha Chesher with Rosemary Lee
- Site and Costume Design: Louise Belson
- Performers: Aaliyah Abokar, Nicola Adshead, Beth Alena McInnes, India Ash-Ingley, Scarlet Ash-Ingley, Julie Ballinger, Millie Barber, Nicky Bernard, Kathleen Bell, Penny Best, Emma Bouch, Sarah Bridgman, Sophie Britton, Tony Burch, Emmanuelle Clément, Gloria Dobbin, Kamila Domanska, Marion Douglas, Teresa Earle, Jane Eve, Gina Garcha, Jennifer Garcia, Matt Gascoyne, Rachel Gildea, Ankita Gopalakrishnon, Fionnuala Hanson, Gracie Harris, Melissa Harward, April Hatcher, Becky Hawkes, Hayden Hewitt, Charlie Hendren, Justyna Janiszewska, Amelia Jordan, Aya Kobayashi, Roshmi Lovatt, Kristina Lymantaite, Alison Marshall, Sara Marshall, Beth McFarlane, Effie McGuire Ward, Daniel McKeown, Lola Minney, Niamh Milligan, Fiona Millward, Juri Nishi, Jan O’Flynn-Mundin, Neeve O’Flynn-Mundin, Adriana Peixoto, Hazel Powell, Verity Robinson, James Rose, Mike Rutter, Trupta Sali, Nicky Saunders, Lauren Segal, Mathilda Shaw, Maddy Shearman, Hana Snowdon, Steven Spivey, Danni Spooner, Sabine Pfluger, Ploy Sumaytiwit, Lorraine Thom, Michelle Topham, Nannapat (Puifye) Trirattrakul, Tamsin Tyers-Vowles, Matthew Udwin, Hannah Whalan, Sam White, Rachel Wild, Clare Williams, Adeline Wong Jingyi, Lucy-Alice Wren.
Commission and Funding:
- Commissioned by The Stables for IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2014.
- Supported by an Exceptional Award, National Lottery through Arts Council England 2013, and Milton Keynes Council.
- Also supported by: England, Milton Keynes Council.
Running continually all day and free to view
- As an installation:
- Preview: 6-7 March 2015 St Andrews Church, Great Linford
- Premiere: 8-24 May 2015 Norwich Cathedral, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Norwich
- 11-28 September 2015 Hexham Abbey International Music Festival, Hexham
- 05-19 May 2016 St Michael’s Church, Bath Dance and ICIA, Bath
- 28 May-23 June 2016 Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford,
- 15-24 July 2016 bespoke built garden room of reflection in Milton Keynes Shopping Mall, IF: Milton Keynes International Festival, Milton Keynes
- 19-22 October 2016 Lumen Church, Bloomsbury Festival, London
- 26 October -10 November 2016 Garden of Reflection Gallery, Echo Echo Festival, Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland
- 07-22 August 2017 Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh, Scotland
- As a single screen film:
- 19-22 November 2015 Light Moves Festival of Screen Dance, Limerick, Ireland
- 20-22 November 2015 Underwire Festival, London
- 12 November – 18 December 2019 Inshadow Lisbon Screendance Festival, Lisbon, Portugal
- November 2018 Screendance: [POSITIONING]
- 2-27 November 2018 ViDEOSKiN, Yukon, Canada
Three images of the installation in situ that illustrate the various sites and the scale and design of the three-screen installation.
Liquid Gold is the Air programme notes/hand out to viewers at the première, Norwich Cathedral Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2015.
This document illustrates how viewers were prepared by giving them contextual information.
This blog post by Ramsay Burt reflects on the relationship of the work to its surroundings- Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, reflects on the influence of the Renaissance triptych and gives a sense of his experience of seeing the work in situ.
2. Lee, R. Heighway, A. Starting with Sight: A Conversation between Rosemary Lee and Anna Heighway. The International Journal of Screen Dance Vol 8 2017. Download PDF.
This interview delves into Lee’s visual approach to Liquid Gold is the Air and gives more details about the influences and explorations inherent in the research.
Awards and nominations:
- 2015 – Light Moves Festival Prize for outstanding overall work Limerick Ireland.
- 2015 – Shortlisted for most innovative sound – Light Moves Festival for Screen Dance
- 2015 – Nominated for Best Cinematography – Underwire Festival London
Additional Production Credits:
- Choreographer’s Assistant: Fiona Millward
- Core Team: Beth Alena McInnes, Rachel Gildea, Charlie Hendren, Justyna Janiszewska, Aya Kobayashi, Effie McGuire Ward, Lauren Segal, Sam White
- Musical Director: Paul Hoskins
- Musicians: Rory Cartmell, Hari Eustice, Ross Learmonth, Megan Roberts (Tenor Trombone) Jim Alexander, Rhys Smith (Bass Trombone) Mike Cuthbert, Will Renwick (Percussion)
- Assistant Designer – Set and Props: Kasper Hansen
- Props Maker: Amy Nixon
- Props Maker Assistant: Sasha Mani
- Props Assistant: Petra Hjortsberg
- Chief Tree Rigger: Tom McDaniel
- Costume Supervisor: Sophie Bellin Hansen
- Assistant: Helen Gardner
- Costume Makers: Caroline Akselson, Elisabeth Barker, Melissa Burton, Berit Laageide, Lucy Mita Reeves, Alice Kristina Rose, Melanie Woolven
- Dyer: Sarah Pasrich
- Senior Wardrobe Assistant: Alison Alexander
- Wardrobe Assistants: Emma Stroud, Paula Gray
- Alterations: Ana Wasniowska
- Make-Up Assistant: Sophia Ghory
- Catering: Buskers Coffee Shop
- Production Manager: Babs Egervary
- Stage Managers: Amy Johnson, Martha Everett
- Assistant Stage Managers: Eleanor Butcher, Hannah Louise Roy
- Project Coordinator: Helen Innes
- Camera Assistant: Marco Benozzi
- On-site Sound Recordist: Duncan Whiteley
- On-site Film Runner: Tristan Gadd
- For the installation:
- Production Manager: Steve Wald
- Synchronised Playback System: Rob Prouse
- Installation Construction/Painting: Martin Streeter / Fiona Stewart
- Producer: Nicky Childs, Artsadmin
- Executive Producer: The Stables
Header Image Credit:
Liquid Gold is the Air. Rosemary Lee and Roswitha Chesher; screenshot: Roswitha Chesher (2015) CC-BY- NC.