Film London Jarman Award 2020 Touring Programme 

Project Art Works, ILLUMINATING THE WILDERNESS – Film Still 2019 © PAW

Online from 12.00pm


The Film London Jarman Award celebrates the most exciting artists working in moving image in the UK.  This year’s shortlisted artists are Michelle Williams Gamaker, Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings, Jenn Nkiru, Project Art Works, Larissa Sansour, and Andrea Luka Zimmerman.

Art and film lovers can watch full-length works by all shortlisted artists during a special 12hr online screening, running 12.00pm – midnight, Thursday 5 November.

From 6.00pm-7.00pm, Towner will host a special online Q&A with Joe Hill (Director at Towner) in conversation with shortlisted artists, Project Art Works. Project Art Works will discuss their recent film Illuminating the Wilderness (2019) directed by Kate Adams and Tim Corrigan, and filmed on location with Ben Rivers, Margaret Salmon and neurodiverse artists and makers, families and carers. The film follows the investigation of a remote Scottish glen over several days and reveals the pleasures and challenges of neurodiverse responses to nature and shared experience.

You can register your place on this Q&A via the Towner’s Eventbrite page.

From October to December please visit the Towner website where you can access artist interviews and excerpts from the shortlisted films.


Touring Programme 2020 includes:

Project Art Works, Illuminating the Wilderness (2019), 38’

Jenn Nkiru, BLACK TO TECHNO (2019) 20’

Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings, In my Room (2020) 17’44”

Larissa Sansour, In Vitro (2019) 28’

Michelle Williams Gamaker, House of Women (2017) 14’17”

Andrea Luka Zimmerman, Civil Rites (2017) 28’




Project Art Works, Illuminating the Wilderness (2019) 38’

Project Art Works is a collective of visual artists and makers. They work towards greater representation of neurodiversity in culture and care. Their productions, collaborations, projects and studio actions challenge societal definitions of care, creative intent, value, communication and identity.

Illuminating the Wilderness is a Project Art Works film directed by artists Kate Adams and Tim Corrigan and shot in collaboration with Ben Rivers, Margaret Salmon and Gabrielle Rapisarda. The film follows days spent together with six neurodivergent artists and makers, and their families or support teams investigating a remote Scottish glen and the pleasures and challenges of the landscape and weather systems of the mountains.

Shot from multiple viewpoints and cameras (some body-mounted), the film is unscripted and reveals the subtle fluidity of roles and interactions between this unique and itinerant community away from the practical, attitudinal and social barriers that they face in their everyday lives. Moments of humour and tender consideration for each other unfold as they investigate the different places and spaces of the glen. The remoteness, scale and indifference of the landscape provides a rare sense of freedom and belonging for everyone involved.

The film was produced as part of EXPLORERS, a three-year collaborative project generated by Project Art Works and involving Tate Liverpool, Mk Gallery, Fabrica, Photoworks, AUTOGRAPH and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia. The EXPLORERS programme included workshops, seminars, happenings, installations and new cultural commissioning models that placed neurodiverse communities, artists and makers at the heart of civic and cultural life.



Jenn Nkiru, BLACK TO TECHNO (2019), 20’

Described by Nkiru as what “a relic finding of a Detroiter’s public access TV watching patterns, which make up the constellation of what Techno might be”. BLACK TO TECHNO, through a visually rich and diverse collage of intersecting narratives, conceptual frameworks, archival references and original imagery, asserts Techno not just as a musical gesture but as a philosophical, sonic and anthropological one: a model for the overcoming of alienation, the undoing of oppositions between the individual and the means of production, body and tool, soul and machine.

BLACK TO TECHNO is not a simple origin story of Techno but rather, as Nkiru calls it, a cosmic archaeology which deeply explores and excavates the layers bound within this unique sound; the particularity of a people, energy, industrialism, geography, politics; black accelerationism and afro-futurist imaginings of a certain time; all coming together, making an othered sound created by groups of othered people. Featuring cameos from the worlds of Techno, Hip-Hop, Funk, Soul, Detroit and Berlin, this is a uniquely artistic impressionistic take on High Tech Soul: Techno — a futuristic sound falling into the legacy of black music not often celebrated as such.



Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings, In my Room (2020) 17’44”

In My Room is a new moving image artwork by artists Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings. The film is shot primarily in Birmingham’s gay village, an area once heavily dominated by male-only-venues now undergoing rapid gentrification in anticipation of HS2, a high-speed rail connecting Birmingham to London. Both venues featured in the film, Bar Jester and Core club are now permanently closed. Narrated by a new soundtrack composed by Owen Pratt the film features a series of performances choreographed by Les Child. In My Room takes a critical look at male-only social and sex spaces, considering the practice of public sex between men as a nexus of power and world-building, questioning who is able to take risks? Who is allowed agency over their own pleasure? How to be visible without being exploited? How to lay claim to public space? As the closure of gay venues exposes gay male culture to new challenges the film is intended to function both as a provocation and a document of LGBTQ culture at a time of political, social and cultural turmoil. In making the film, the artists have worked with choreographer Les Child, singer Jesse Hultberg and dancers: Ted Rodgers, Matthew Hawkins, Paul Liburd, Christopher Sparkey, Gary O’Brien and Lucille Marshall. The soundtrack for the film is made by Owen Pratt. Rosie Taylor is the Director of Photography with colourist Philipp Morozov.



Larissa Sansour, In Vitro (2019) 28’

In Vitro is a 2-channel black and white sci-fi film set in the aftermath of an eco-disaster. An abandoned nuclear reactor under the biblical town of Bethlehem has been converted into an enormous orchard. Using heirloom seeds collected in the final days before the apocalypse, a group of scientists are preparing to replant the soil above.

In the hospital wing of the underground compound, the orchard’s ailing founder, 70-year-old Dunia, played by Hiam Abbass, is lying in her deathbed, as 30-year-old Alia, played by Maisa Abd Elhadi, comes to visit her. Alia is born underground as part of a comprehensive cloning program and has never seen the town she’s destined to rebuild.

The talk between the two scientists soon evolves into an intimate dialogue about memory, exile and nostalgia. Central to their discussion is the intricate relationship between past, present and future, with the Bethlehem setting providing a narratively, politically and symbolically charged backdrop.



Michelle Williams Gamaker, House of Women (2017) 14’17”

House of Women revisits the audition for the character of Kanchi, the silent Indian dancer in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1947 film Black Narcissus. The coveted role went to Jean Simmons (famous for playing Estella in Great Expectations, 1946). To become the “exotic temptress” of Rumer Godden’s novel of the same name, the white English actor participates in a racist make-up technique; wearing dark Panstick make-up and a jewel in her nose.

Shot on 16mm film, the four auditionees come face to face with the inherent violence of the process; discussing the history of photography, colonialism and race, class and gender politics with an anonymous reader, who interrogates their motivation for applying. By auditioning only Indian ex-pat or first-generation British Asian women and non-binary individuals, Williams Gamaker re-casts a Kanchi for the 21st Century, who crucially speaks.



Andrea Luka Zimmerman, Civil Rites (2017) 28’

Civil Rites is a cine-poem, taking as a starting point Martin Luther King’s 1967 speech, given on receipt of his honorary doctorate from the University of Newcastle. It explores how the core themes of poverty, racism and war continue to haunt our lives. The title plays on the sonic relationship between ‘rights’ in a civil and social sense, and the rituals that inform behaviour. The film listens to the voices of more than two dozen interviews conducted with older and recently arrived residents, housed and un-housed, community organisers, passers-by, educators and others as they think through their responses to these themes. The film locates these voices in dialogue with key sites of resistance from across the Tyneside region and across the centuries. It seeks to learn what has changed (or not) in the lives of people in Newcastle today.



About the Jarman Award

For 2020 the Jarman Award will tour virtually across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with online screenings of works by all the shortlisted artists followed by a series of online artists’ Q&As. The work will be available to see through the websites of seven major arts venues in Belfast, Nottingham, Bristol, Eastbourne, London, Cardiff and Glasgow.

The tour will culminate in a special weekend of online events on 14 and 15 November in partnership with the Whitechapel Gallery, London.



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