David Dale Gallery and LUX Scotland present: Natasha Ruwona, UMBILIC

1 — 30 June 2021

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UMBILIC, Natasha Ruwona, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

Natasha Ruwona, UMBILIC – the first in a series of monthly online screenings in partnership with David Dale Gallery.

David Dale Gallery and LUX Scotland are excited to present a series of three monthly online screenings in collaboration with Natasha Ruwona, Siri Black and Saoirse Amira Anis, three Scotland-based artists working with moving image. From June to August, a different artist each month will present a recent moving image work of their own alongside a film that they have selected from the LUX collection. The film programmes will be hosted on David Dale Gallery’s website and will be available to watch for free for the duration of each month. In addition, each artist will present a contextual event to explore themes within their practice.

This is the second screening programme organised by David Dale Gallery and LUX Scotland. The first iteration was produced in collaboration with Hannah James, Sulaïman Majali, Alexander Storey-Gordon and Winnie Herbstein in 2019.


UMBILIC, Natasha Ruwona, 2021, 14 minutes, 57 seconds

UMBILIC is a moving-image essay film that uncovers an expansion on the current discourse of Hydrofeminism through a mapping of research into water, in line with a Black Feminist Geographical framework. An excavation into Scotland’s Black history, this work began in 2020, incidentally the Year of Scottish Coasts and Waters (which has been continued into 2021). What can we learn from water? Fluidity, impermanence, ease of movement, care, methods to listen, tenderness – we can liquify ourselves, and look to water to guide us, provide answers, inspire questions. UMBILIC is an offering – forever incomplete.

Look Then Below, Ben Rivers, 2019, 22 minutes, 30 seconds

The film conjures up futuristic beings from an eerie smoke filled landscape and the depths of the earth. Look Then Below was shot in the vast, dark passages of Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset. The netherworld of chambers, carved out over deep time, once held remnants of lost civilisations, now foretell a future subterranean world, occupied by a species evolved from our environmentally challenged world. Part three of a trilogy of speculative films with text written by Mark von Schlegell. Courtesy Ben Rivers and LUX London.

Total running time: 38 minutes

About the artist


NATASHA THEMBISO RUWONA is a Scottish-Zimbabwean artist, researcher and film programmer based in Glasgow. They are interested in Afrofuturist storytelling through the poetics of the landscape, working across various media including; digital performance, film, DJing and writing. Their current project Black Geographies, Ecologies and Spatial Practice is an exploration of space, place and the climate as related to Black identities and histories. Natasha is interested in different forms of magic and is in particular drawn to the power of the moon. They are the current resident for Alchemy Film and Arts where they are researching Tom Jenkins – Britain’s first Black Schoolteacher, and the migratory patterns of salmon through the lens of queer ecologies.