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Cladach

Margaret Salmon

United Kingdom, 2018
40 minutes, Colour, 5.1 Surround
Original format: 16mm film
Available formats: HD Video Digital File, DCP

The Wester Ross region of North West Scotland provides grounds to film and explore indigenous habitats and species, as well as human interactions with the sea, and local and tourist culture. In Cladach, filming revolved around a single community, in Ullapool, existing along the shoreline of the Wester Ross Marine Protected Area. Town life and activities filmed provide an entrance into the rhythm of the local, and a space to allow different attitudes and ideas around costal life to emerge. A humanist, observational approach creates an open, simple expression throughout. Much like The Days Before Christmas (Stanley Jackson, W. Koenig, Terrance MacCartney –Filigate 1959) the film is essentially a portrait of place, in this instance, a shore, and the communities bordering it. Engaging with different aspects of the everyday in Ullapool – international visitors, local fisherman, ferry passengers, charity shops and pub restaurants Cladach also documents a family ceilidh, featuring musical performances by local children.Following this notion of the shoreline as a point of meeting between worlds, the film looks to reconnect these organisms, into an earth-bound whole, and the camera seeks to connect nature and society uniformly. Through the image patterns that emerge, forms and colours, bodies and movements are mirrored and continuous, and the inclusiveness of lived experience is laid bare.As we leave Ullapool and enter a nearby shoreline, underwater footage of a maerl bed, jellyfish, sea grass begins an aquatic study of common indigenous species of Northwest Scotland – cup corals, anemones, serpulid worms, and others.