Soil, Sinew and Bone

Country: UK
Duration: 39 mins
|45 Seconds
Colour / B&W,
Sound: Stereo
Ratio: 1:2.65
Available Format/s: HD Digital file
Original Format: 4K Video


Working with film footage from Screen Archive South East, spanning the 1930s to the 1970s, Blandy charts the protracted revolution from the age of horsepower to the Atomic cold war era. The film reflects on how humanity has now found itself on the brink of environmental collapse. Mechanization and increasing industrialisation, in the field and the factory, becomes a shadow of the automation of the present age.

Blandy also engages with the wider range of the archive, from the cottage industry of chicken rearing in the 1930’s to a Florida based phosphate factory, to a shrine on the island of Miyajuma in Japan, looking out towards Hiroshima only a year or two before the horrific Atomic bomb was dropped on the city.
Children are at the heart of the film, at work in the fields, born into the darkness of the blackout in the Second World War, at play under threat from bombs and gas, acting as a stark parallel to children growing up during the pandemic and amid the conflict of the 20th century.

A mesmeric reflected image, rich soundtrack and reflective voice-over draw the viewer through the history of a critical period in the 20th century, and invite us to consider how the events of the past continue to impact our present lives.

Inspired by Rachel Carson, Donna Haraway and Hannah Arendt, the film considers the lives behind the images in the archive, their place in social history and the nature of the archive itself.

Supported by Arts Council England, The Elephant Trust and Screen Archive South East.
The film was jointly commissioned by John Hansard Gallery, Southampton & Towner Gallery, Eastbourne

More works by David Blandy

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