The Sleeper Falls

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This single screen film projection in the bell tower of St Johns church is shown as part of Magnetic Atlas installation. In this 9 minute work, film is projected onto a free hanging opaque sheet. Cine film, digital footage and stills are intercut and overlaid to form a disjointed narrative of a dreaming man, a young boy offering out a birds nest and folk tale-like tower/lighthouse. The title is taken from a line in Rilke’s 1924 poem ‘Gravity’.

We see the dreamer as he moves through the forest and then through the ‘vortex’ of the tall tower, from the top of which he finds a nest in the tree tops. He takes an egg from the nest; he has found metaphorical treasure - something vital for the soul, but on waking the egg has gone from his hand. Here the moving images echo the theme of the climb, more specifically the stairs that lead upward. The many connections and images in the work reflect themes of home and belonging, the struggle to hold onto intents, dreams and ambitions, of light and dark, flux and the interconnectedness of energy flows and methods of communication. The sound track uses long wave radio frequency and interference, sometimes clapping or chanting from religious services is audible.

The work features footage of the round towers found in Ireland. These tall distinctive looking towers date from the 10th century, very particular in form, and are unique to Ireland in their high numbers and form. Their purpose is not always fully known, but probably concerned with forms of ritual. The architectural symbolism and transcendental ambitions of the towers give them a visual richness and their height and the vertigo which the climber can experience when at the top of them enhance their impact and lead to perceptions of a more metaphysical meaning and symbolic ascent towards heaven. They are another form of ‘medium’ through which we can connect to the other, unseen mythic world. Central to these and other similar types of architectural forms is the ability to engender notions of ritualistic space and the ancient desire to connect and communicate with the heavens.

See installation shots and film stills
Watch the film on vimeo