This short silent film was part of a site specific installation work titled ‘They loved to breathe beauty, tradition and romanticism’. Commissioned by Unravelled Arts for ‘Unravelling Nymans’ exhibition which took place in the summer of 2012 at Nymans House and Gardens, Sussex, a National Trust property.
The overall installation was a set up fake room setting in upstairs long Gallery at Nyman’s House. The installation consisted of a woven garment sculpture, digital film 5min 42 sec loop, woven hair mementos and framed film stills which interacted with furniture, objects and textiles from the Nymans archive collections. The work explored the lives and creativity of the Messel Women, Maud Messel and her daughter Anne Countess of Rosse, who lived at Nymans.
This film was part of the installation set up. It follows ‘Elsa’, (the artist) a distant and fictional relative of the Messel family who visits Nymans hoping to learn something about her family roots and tradition. As Elsa moves through the gardens, ruins and interior rooms she senses the presence and lives of her relations Maud Messel and Anne Countess of Rosse. The film uses the Nymans house and gardens as a film set, exposing the spaces within the property that the pubic don’t get to visit or which are cordoned off. Some of the vintage garments worn by Elsa in the film were used as raw material in the garment woven sculpture. The film developed from the desire to select raw materials (garments) through on-site wearing at on location at Nymans.
Digital film. normal running time – 5min 42 sec. Filmed on location at Nymans, West Sussex. February 2012. Thanks to the National Trust (Enterprises) Ltd, Paul Dutnall Junk TV and Unravelled Arts.