Richmond American International University, London 2012

‘Tracing Ancestral Homelands’ Film Screening 

3rd November 2012 (2-5pm)

The Family Ties Network organised a film screening of new works by Suze Adams and Lizzie Thynne exploring family, landscape and memory, followed by a panel discussion.

Communion, Suze Adams, UK, 2012, 11:56’

Suze Adams_Communion

The place that inspires Communion is the Hebridean Isle of Mull, home to Suze’s maternal ancestors, where for the past decade she has been investigating and tracing family connections.  From the starting point of oral histories, on Mull she has been exploring the inter-relationship between a self and a place in relation to notions of home – does home constitute people or place, is it now or then, here or there? Communion was first performed at S’Airde Beinn, a location significant to the Morison family and is a work that, through multiple sensory layers, examines issues of belonging and identity.  Focusing on her own relationship with Mull, Suze asks what and where we might call ‘home’.

Suze Adams is an independent artist whose critical practice explores the interface between people and place examining the relationship between landscape and those (human and non-human) that shape the environments we encounter.  Focusing on temporality and the oscillation between presence and absence in the experiential landscape, her work traces ancestral sites and geological wonders, animal tracks and elemental scars.  Treading a delicate path between the physical and psychological, documentation and poetry, fact and fiction, her research crystallises in the form of still and moving imagery, installation and performance. Suze is an Associate Lecturer at UWE Bristol and exhibits regularly throughout the UK and Europe.

On the Border, Lizzie Thynne, UK, 2012, 56’

on the border 1

A daughter’s exploration of her Finnish family’s history prompted by the letters, objects, and photographs left in her mother’s apartment. Fragmented memories, dreams, and diary entries are juxtaposed with the director’s journey to significant places and people in that history from during and after the Russo-Finnish wars, 1939-1944. Her mother, Lea, and her siblings were evacuated from the disputed border territory of Karelia and Lea’s father was killed in 1941, fighting alongside the Germans against the Soviets. The story of her father’s death in action is contrasted with the more indirect impact of the war and its aftermath on the destinies of Lea, her mother and siblings. Lea began to see and hear things from age 42. Thynne searches for the causes of her mother’s breakdown as well as acknowledging that she can only understand her family’s past through her own experience and imagination. In this hypnotic work of mourning and remembrance, past and present, associations, memory and imagining intertwine, as the film charts the lingering traces of conflict and exile across generations.