Richard Ducker & Ian Thompson in conversation with Neil Greenhalgh

Performance by Sarah Sparkes


Saturday 12 November 2022
About the artists

Richard Ducker’s practice as a visual artist has brought together a wide variety of processes: sculpture-installation, sound, wall text, and video that suggest narratives of displacement and engender a sense of ‘wrong place, wrong time’. Over the last 3 years Ducker’s practice has moved almost exclusively into film-making, developing some of the themes from my installations.

Ian Thompson is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Greenwich, London, teaching sound design and production across film and digital arts programmes. He’s a member of the SOUND/IMAGE research group, with interests in; spatial audio, sound design in virtual production, soundscape research, and environmental sound recording. His current creative practice with sound extends from musical performance, including recent ‘cello improvisation with various ensembles, and bass guitar with a high-profile commercial group.

About the interviewer

Neil Greenhalgh is an artist, writer, and educator, currently working on a number of community art projects alongside his painting practice and full time job teaching Fine Art at University of Bolton.

His work uses fell running, walking, and mark-making to explore a deeper connection with landscape, and search for a greater sense of place within ourselves through active engagement with the land. This practice-led research sometimes outputs in traditionally visual ways such as paintings, drawings, videos, and prints, and sometimes as outputs more akin to relational aesthetics found within community-driven sketchbook walks, and workshops – using art as a vehicle for conviviality and active engagement with the land.

About the exhibition

‘The Accurate Perception Available When Our Eye Becomes Single’ is an immersive multi-screen installation evoking the emotional specifics of place, while exploring the elasticity of time and history. It is an audio-visual collaboration between artists Richard Ducker (video) and Ian Thompson (sound) with no linear narrative; sound and image are not synchronised, so each viewing is a unique experience.

The place is Orford Ness on the Suffolk coast, an eight-kilometre shingle spit, used for secret military testing during the first world war until the cold war in the 1980s. The site is now desolate but the decaying architecture from seventy years of military occupation remain. These strange elemental structures are formed out of an alien landscape that resembles a lost movie set.

For the installation, the film’s constituent parts are broken into seven looped sections and projected on multiple screens and monitors, with four stereo audio channels on loudspeakers.

The film includes performance by artist Sarah Sparkes, in costume as part mythical creature, part out-of-time character. She appears incidentally, unexplained, like an avatar, contrasting mythology with military. This mythical figure has somehow become displaced on the Ness, a lost Godzilla out of place in the strangeness of this part of the Suffolk coastline. The figure is seen coming out of the sea and so also references the strange account of the Orford Ness Merman that is part of local folklore.