Venetian Obscura: A moving tale of cautionary intrigue
Venetian Obscura alludes to the birth of film, the discovery of perspective and what might lurk beneath the surface of polite society.
Venetian Obscura is a collaboration between visual and spatial artists who take the Victorian art of Tableau Vivant (living pictures) and add their own special twist to create a real time/real live animation. The local troupe deploys an array of blinds, costumes and props to create filmic clips unfolding over the course of 25 minutes. Each of the three scenes reveals what might lie behind the perfect facade. Who’s story is discussed behind the gloved hands?
Venetian Obscura introduces audiences to early cinematic experiences, the camera obscura and magic lantern animation, a duo-tonal world before ‘talkies’. The Venetian Obscura stage is a super-sized box brownie, the audience fourth wall frames the first ‘screen time’ where the Lumīere brothers entertained in short bursts, Venetian blinds open to reveal the action, and we look into where our protagonists move in early animation tempo in front of special black and white 2D roomscapes.
Vicki Smith and Sally Shaw are two local artists who have contributed to the Nelson Arts Scene through public art projects for the Nelson Fringe Festival Visual Arts Project, Chorus Cabinets, Tahunanui Sculpture Walk, Light Nelson and Illuminations Windows works. Lyn Russell is an Architectural Designer who has collaborated on many buildings projects and with an artist on the Cocoon for the Whole House Reuse project.
Collectively they manifest creative interventures as “Get Frocked” engaging in projects around the idea of dressing. Get Frocked describe their projects as ‘part performance part extravaganza of accoutrements’ engaging their collective skills and ample wardrobes to delving into celebratory or cautionary tales of local intrigue.
Written and directed by Monica Pausina.
In London, David Attenborough addresses the Royal Geographical Society dinner in honour of his 90th birthday and vividly recounts a story from his recently published memoir. As he speaks he paints the picture of his twenty-seven-year-old self visiting the Pacific for the first time. He relates the startling impact the tropical islands and their culture had on him and the mysterious event that occurred on the remote Fijian island of Koro.
Drawn inexorably by a fascinating rumour, Attenborough attempted to explore the claim of the island’s mbuli: that he could summon the village’s founding ancestor from the ocean. As his speech unfolds, Attenborough is unaware that on the other side of the world a young islander has the answer to the question he has always longed to know.
St Brigid’s Eve (PG13)
Written by Monica Pausina and Kate Shaw, directed by Monica Pausina
Adult Themes, PG13
It is 1792 and Paganism has given way to Christianity. In the midst of a scarlet fever outbreak a boy wakes greatly agitated from a fever-dream. The young nurse who attends him records the vision that he recounts in chilling detail. In the days that follow, the vision becomes impossible to ignore.Years later, the nurse is alone and snowbound on St Brigid’s Eve, the night when winter gives way to spring. Her husband is a day’s ride away, preaching in the village for the feast of St Brigid. With a storm raging outside, she tends to a desperately ill baby and tries in vain to keep the memory of the boy’s vision at bay.