Events

Margaret Tait Commission 2023 | Isabel Barfod, 'How Much Air Lungs Can Hold'

Part of Margaret Tait Commission

29 April 2024
6.15pm – 7.20pm

Glasgow Film Theatre
12 Rose St, Glasgow, G3 6RB
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Free (booking required)

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A virtual sculpture of a rendered whirlpool in vivid azure blue. The central spiral of the sculpture narrows and blends seamlessly into the digitally crafted water-like texture surrounding it. Precise ripples and waves radiate from the centre, simulating the rhythmic movement of water. The play of light within the image casts highlights and shadows over the fluid forms, giving the impression of a luminous and dynamic body of water captured in a static digital frame.
Isabel Barfod, 'How Much Air Lungs Can Hold', 2024. Courtesy of the artist.

We are delighted to present Isabel Barfod’s new Margaret Tait Commission ‘​How Much Air Lungs Can Hold’ at Glasgow Film Theatre, on the evening of Monday 29 April.

How Much Air Lungs Can Hold’ is an intimate gathering of testimony. Composed of experimental animation and audio recordings of conversations with Black swimmers living in Glasgow and London, this film considers the phenomenological resonance that emerges from swimming and its enigmatic relation with Blackness.

Sound recordings of 11 conversations are collaged into a sonic architecture, forming the narrative body of the work, a way to both describe and speculate on the ephemeral states of alteration or transcendence various encounters with water can facilitate. Meditating on how these encounters can be enabled by affirming social practices, and precluded by mechanisms of regulation, coloniality and enclosure.

Invested in the sensory as an experiential field for staging Black spatial liberation, How Much Air Lungs Can Hold’ applies immersive, abstracted imagery using CGI, traditional 2D animation and underwater footage, performing as witness and respondent to oral testimony and aural experience.

How Much Air Lungs Can Hold’ seeks to invoke the aquatic animation of interiority, rememory, non-linearity, entanglement and submergence. Speculative arrangements for Black social life resurface alongside ideas of light:dark, presence:non-presence, legibility:opacity and surface:depth. Probing possibility from embodiment to ask questions of our incommensurable capacity to hold, listen, sense and what it means to bear witness.

A landscape photograph of Isabel Barfod. The artist is sat in a chair in an empty room with a plain white wall behind her. Isabel faces the camera directly. Low lighting creates deep grey and blue tones. Isabel’s left hand rests on her knee and her right hand on the wooden arm of the chair. Isabel is wearing a loose fitting black polo neck jumper with billowing sleeves. The small amount of light illuminating Isabel catches her silver jewellery, including rings on her right hand, an ornate hoop earring in her right ear, and a chain necklace.
Portrait of Isabel Barfod by Erika Steveson, 2024.

Isabel Barfod

Isabel Barfod is an animator and artist based in Glasgow. Working across digital, hand-drawn, 2D and 3D animation, her work is driven by irritation and speculation, looking to process agitations through drawing, scratching and mark making.

Her practice seeks to draw out the hard-to-describe’ micro/​experiences, feelings and phenomena associated with moving in and out of private/​public space as a Black Queer person. Cloaking figures and gestures in abstraction, she evokes absurd, surreal and racialised social realities residing within the ephemeral encounter. As a means of working through her own uncertainty and frustrations, she images reparative and restitutive possibilities that are collectively-imagined and speculated.

Previous screenings, grants and commissions include: Margaret Tait Commission (2023/​24), Edinburgh Film Festival (2023), In Motion Festival London & Rotterdam (2023), Flamin’ Animations Commission with Film London (2022 2023), Screening at London International Animation Festival, Barbican, London (2022), We Are Here Scotland – Creators Fund (2021) Screening at We Are Here Scotland Creators Showcase, Scotland (2022), Tramway TV – Sidesteps (2022), Take Me Somewhere – sendiri by Claricia Parinussa (2021), Screening at Africa in Motion Film Festival – Sidesteps (original), Scotland (2019).

Programme

Introduction by Kitty Anderson, LUX Scotland Director: 10 mins

Isabel Barfod, How Much Air Lungs Can Hold’ (2024): 52 mins

Total running time: 62 mins

Access

How Much Air Lungs Can Hold’ is captioned.

For information regarding audio description, please email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

A transcript of the introduction will be available.

The event is free to attend, but ticketed. A limited number of wheelchair accessible tickets are available. Tickets are available to book directly through Glasgow Film Theatre here.

Venue:

Glasgow Film Theatre has level access at the main entrance with a permanent ramp. Cinema 1, an accessible toilet and the upstairs bar can be reached via lift. For more information on venue accessibility please see the access section of Glasgow Film Theatre’s website here.

Image descriptions:

1: A virtual sculpture of a rendered whirlpool in vivid azure blue. The central spiral of the sculpture narrows and blends seamlessly into the digitally crafted water-like texture surrounding it. Precise ripples and waves radiate from the centre, simulating the rhythmic movement of water. The play of light within the image casts highlights and shadows over the fluid forms, giving the impression of a luminous and dynamic body of water captured in a static digital frame.

2: A landscape photograph of Isabel Barfod. The artist is sat in a chair in an empty room with a plain white wall behind her. Isabel faces the camera directly. Low lighting creates deep grey and blue tones. Isabel’s left hand rests on her knee and her right hand on the wooden arm of the chair. Isabel is wearing a loose fitting black polo neck jumper with billowing sleeves. The small amount of light illuminating Isabel catches her silver jewellery, including rings on her right hand, an ornate hoop earring in her right ear, and a chain necklace.

Closed Captions

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Partners

Part of Margaret Tait Commission

The Margaret Tait Commission is a LUX Scotland commission delivered in partnership with Glasgow Film, with support from Creative Scotland.

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