‘Time and Tide’: Professor Esther Johnson to introduce and screen ‘Hinterland’ and ‘Retreating the Line’ at University of Plymouth

Still from Retreating the Line by Esther Johnson

Update – 25 October 2017
Retreating the Line has been selected by Ali Smith, current Man Booker Prize shortlister, for the Swedenborg Film Festival. The festival invited entries from the latest emerging and established talent of experimental and artist film, exploring the theme of ‘dreams’. The winner will be announced at Swedenborg Hall, London on 18 November 2017. See here for ticketing information.

“I reckon I’ve got fifteen years before [the sea] gets to my door”.
Charlie Mann (2002)

Esther Johnson, artist and filmmaker and Professor of Film and Media Arts at Sheffield Hallam University, will introduce and screen her artist film works Hinterland (2002) and Retreating the Line (2017). These companion works focus on an East Yorkshire community which live on the fastest eroding coastline in Europe retreating at up to 2 metres a year.

Time and Tide artist film works by Esther Johnson
Wednesday 01 November 2017
School of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Plymouth

Hinterland asks how it feels to live in such a precarious situation with homes fatally threatened by the elements. The narratives of three Skipsea residents are explored: Charlie believes he has fifteen years until the land on which his house stands falls into the sea; Saffron speaks of how she always has a backpack ready to make a swift escape; and Peter recalls how far out the land reached in WWII, when he was a young man.

Retreating the Line, commissioned by Hull 2017 and Film and Video Umbrella and exhibited at the recent Somewhere Becoming Sea exhibition at Humber Street Gallery, is the sequel to Hinterland. Filmed at the fifteen-year deadline that Charlie feared, this work documents the changes to the landscape, moving from the land to the sea edge and beyond. As predicted, the landscape of this ‘plotland’ has changed dramatically. Chalets first appeared in Skipsea in 1939, and the majority of the remaining resident-built structures that still stood in 2002, have since collapsed into the sea.

Hinterland was selected for the Bodies of Water exhibition and conference curated by Dr Kayla Parker and exhibited at the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol in 2014, with further screenings across the UK in 2015–17. Hinterland will also be exhibited in Wilderness at The New Art Gallery Walsall in February 2018.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A.

Esther Johnson (MA Royal College of Art, London) is an artist and filmmaker working at the intersection of artist moving image and documentary. Her poetic portraits focus on marginal worlds, to reveal resonant stories that may otherwise remain hidden or ignored. Her film works have exhibited in 40 countries and have been shown on BBC and Channel 4. Her audio works have been broadcast on ABC Australia, BBC Radio 4, Resonance FM and RTÉ radio. She is Professor of Film and Media Arts within the Art and Design Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, and was awarded the UK Philip Leverhulme Research Prize in Performing and Visual Arts. Find out more about Esther’s work here.