Zena Watt is an MA Media Arts student at Coventry School of Art and Design. Her project: a "pennyworth" of arsenic takes as its departure point Mary Ball, the last woman to be publicly hanged in Coventry. Mary the 31-year-old wife of ribbon weaver Thomas Ball, was led out 10am from the old Coventry jail and courthouse, now the semi-derelict County Hall, in Cuckoo Lane. Before a crowd of thousands, she was led onto the scaffold and hung from the gallows. As a hush fell upon the crowd, neither a man nor a woman was hanged again in Coventry again. A "pennyworth" of arsenic is discrete collection of ‘neo happening’ as remembrance. A series of mediated actions across sites including the hanging site and subsequent burial ground (now under Cathedral Lanes shopping centre). Inspired by the echoes that remain of the ritual played out 160 years ago.
Zena Watt is artist engaged in the transformation of spaces - both real and imagined. She specialises in cross-media art and site-specific work.
Mediated action / live art performance
24th September 2009
10am and 7pm (Duration 60 minutes)
Location: County Hall and Cathedral Lanes shopping centre.
With an international reputation for its postgraduate MA Media Art course, encouraging experimental creative practice across a number of disciplines, including live art, music, film, video, digital and visual art, September 2009 sees the launch of the new MA Contemporary Arts Practice at Coventry School of Art and Design.
Photography by Karen Bristoll
Animation/ Editing by Karen Bristoll & Richard Edkins
To Fall is a moving image artwork which examines analogue film as a physical medium, the loss surrounding it and how it is being superseded by the digital (Decay, from the Latin word decadere, which means, to fall).
The piece focuses on the microscopic cracks and physical decay imbedded within an analogue photographic image. Utilizing found footage slide transparencies, To Fall explores these cracks, scratches and marks which have become part of the slide over time. Centring around lost photographic stills the piece extrudes and emphasizes the underlying destruction, loss of memory and disappearance both in terms of the physical material, and as a metaphor for technological, social and cultural disappearance.
The piece was created using a digital SLR camera to zoom in and re-photograph elements of an original piece of analogue film. The utilisation of digital photography as a form of reproduction takes away the physicality of the original and replaces it as a representation within a digital sphere. This creates a tension and allows interpretation of the visual, its place in time and raises questions around the production-process.
To Fall is split into two sections: one displays the re-photographed images on a timeline whilst the other documents the production process. The documentation video on the left shows the original slides projected on a wall and alongside this is a video of the re-photographed images.