Stour Valley Arts commissioned a new artwork by Jem Finer, Still, to launch the opening of their new gallery in Ashford town centre. In the remote forest setting of King’s Wood, he hid a solar-powered camera within a tree for 12 months – a passive observer, recording all that passed before its lens. The 18,000 captured photographs were then continually reordered through a computer software programme. This generative sequencing system meant that the flow of time is continuously being stretched and compressed, ebbing and flowing. Between dawn and dusk the viewer is as likely to witness the passing of a single day as the turning of a full year’s seasons.
Still lies somewhere between photography and film – a still image in a state of constant flux. We see the same view through the seasons, through rain, shine, day and night. What seems static is actually an endless series of transitions both subtle and dramatic. No two viewings of the work are ever the same, as the film is continually finding new and different paths through the days, weeks and months.
Jem Finer was one of the founding members of The Pogues, but his subsequent work as an artist includes the Artangel commission, Longplayer, a one thousand year long musical composition. An earlier work at Stour Valley Arts, Score for a hole in the Ground, relied exclusively on gravity and weather to create an endless score.
Stour Valley Arts in Kent is a commissioning agency established in 1994 to show new site-specific contemporary art works within a forest setting. The gallery expansion will provide a visible presence outside of the forest and the gallery space will highlight the work of SVA at King’s Wood, a 1500-acre forest and designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in Challock, Kent. The ancient woodland, was historically a royal hunting forest, and a large herd of fallow deer still inhabit the place.
Stour Valley Arts Gallery, in Kent, is located 5 minutes from Ashford International Station with high speed trains making journey times just 37 minutes from London St Pancras International,