Introduction to using 16mm Bolex Cameras: a Two-Day Workshop with Margaret Salmon

Part of Margaret Tait 100

28 — 29 September 2019

Pier Arts Centre
Stromness, Orkney
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Image courtesy of Margaret Salmon

Margaret Salmon leads a two-day introductory workshop around the 16mm movie camera. Reflecting upon Tait’s intimate working relationship with the Bolex clockwork 16mm camera, as well as Salmon’s longstanding use of the camera, this workshop provides an overview of technical, aesthetic and practical uses of the camera and discussion of independent, artists’ analogue filmmaking practice.

Workshop Schedule:

Day 1 (2 – 5pm) presents a technical grounding in 16mm film exposure and basic principles of cinematography as well as loading and operating the Bolex. It will be followed by a public screening (6 – 8pm) of Tait’s Orquil Burn (1955), filmed nearby, as well as Salmon’s Cladach (2018), shot on location in Ullapool and Wester Ross.

On Day 2 (9.45am‑4.30pm) participants will collectively make a short 16mm film about Orquil Burn which responds to Tait’s seminal work. The day will be broken up into location recce, shoot planning and finally location filming on 16mm. Please bring suitable clothing.

Participants are advised to dress appropriately for the weather and wear suitable shoes for walking on uneven surfaces.

Workshop Bursary

Margaret Tait 100 are delighted to be able to offer a travel /​accommodation bursary to one workshop participant, up to the value of £200. In order to be considered for this bursary please email Marcus Jack, MT100 Coordinator, at email hidden; JavaScript is required with the subject heading WORKSHOP BURSARY [Your Name] and a brief statement of no more than 250 words about why this opportunity would benefit you, your practice or research. Applications must be received by 10am on Thursday 5 September. The successful applicant will be notified by 5pm on Friday 6 September. This opportunity is not available to those in full-time education or residing outside of Scotland.

Margaret Tait 100 is a year-long centenary celebration of the work of Scotland’s pioneering filmmaker and poet, Margaret Tait (1918 – 1999), run in partnership with LUX Scotland, University of Stirling, and Pier Arts Centre, Orkney. Supported by Creative Scotland.

About the artists

Margaret Salmon

Margaret Salmon (b. 1975, New York) lives and works in Glasgow. Concerned with a shifting constellation of relations, such as those between camera and subject, human and animal, or autobiography and ethnography, Margaret Salmon’s films often examine the gendered, emotive dynamics of social interactions and representational forms.

Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at institutions including DCA (2018/​19), Tramway (2018) Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (2015); Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, USA (2011); Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2007); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2007) and Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (2006). Her work has been featured in film festivals and major international survey exhibitions, including the Berlin Biennale (2010) and Venice Biennale (2007) London Film Festival (2018, 2016, 2014). Salmon won the inaugural Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2006, was recently shortlisted for the Jarman Award 2018 and the 2019 Margaret Tait Award.

Margaret Tait

Margaret Tait (1918 – 1999) was born in Kirkwall on Orkney, Scotland. Tait qualified in medicine at Edinburgh University in 1941. From 1950 to 1952 she studied film at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome.

Returning to Scotland she established Ancona Films in Edinburgh’s Rose Street. In the 1960s Tait moved back to Orkney where over the following decades she made a series of films inspired by the Orcadian landscape and culture. All but three of her thirty-two films were self-financed. She wrote poetry and stories and produced several books including three books of poetry.

Screenings include National Film Theatre (London), Berlin Film Festival, Centre for Contemporary Art (Warsaw), Arsenal Kino (Berlin), Pacific Film Archives (San Francisco), Knokke le Zoute, Delhi and Riga. Tait was accorded a retrospective at the 1970 Edinburgh Film Festival and has been the subject of profiles on BBC and Channel Four. The feature-length Blue Black Permanent (1992) opened the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Her final film Garden Pieces was completed in 1998.

Part of Margaret Tait 100

Margaret Tait 100 was a year-long centenary celebration of the work of Scotland’s pioneering filmmaker and poet Margaret Tait that ran from November 2018 to November 2019.

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