Short films for our time inspired by the painting ‘Chelsea Public Library’ (1920) in the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds.
3. Spying Story
4. Gender Gaze
(Malcolm Drummond. 1920. Chelsea Public Library)
Malcolm Drummond, Chelsea Public Library, 1920，Gift of Mrs. Margaret Drummond, 1965. Image © University of Leeds Art Collection
A digital, artistic project completed for the PACE (Performance and Collaborative Enterprise module) in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries by MA students: Haiyue Chen, Yunjie Dai, Jinwen Yuan, Shiyu He, Shimiao Ma, Ling Qin.
Malcolm Drummond (1880-1945) was once a member of the Camden Town Group, a short-lived society of London artists. Under the influence of the group, he usually depicted British scenes of everyday life and domestic interiors and later developed a style characterized by simplified structures and forms. His painting Chelsea Public Library (1920) is a good representation of the style.
Through his artistic works, Drummond ‘zoomed in’ on the ordinary and thus neglected corners of life from a personal, secret angle, which resembles the behaviour of peeping. Nowadays the phenomenon of peeping is ubiquitous, ranging from private information peeping in the virtual world of the internet, the gaze between genders, the intense attention to public figures, to the peeping into the inner world of the individuals. Through the timeline we may notice that Drummond’s peeping, or rather observation, is more of a way to record a city or a certain period of history, whilst today’s peeping is often accompanied by negative, sometimes evil, purposes. Hence our group intends to explore how the nature of peeping is determined by people’s intention and behaviours. We also hope to arouse audience’s reflection of this phenomenon that is all around us, meaning that in one moment you may fall from Heaven to Hell. Peeping is everywhere. We are observers. We might be doers or sufferers. We might be men or women of evil or good.