23rd November: Black Mirror – Magic in Art exhibition opening at Arts University Bournemouth

Black Mirror: Magic in Art explores the influences and roles of magic, enchantment and the occult in contemporary art and how they function as aesthetic, conceptual and political forces. Through a multi-disciplined curatorial approach of 2D, 3D, film, video and performance art, Black Mirror will showcase the work of fourteen internationally recognised artists.

Two early films by Judith Noble (Mysteries & Red Sea) will be on display as part of this exhibition:

Mysteries  – Judith Noble, UK, 1982, 7mins

Mysteries is a photomontage film, shot at Penmon, Anglesey and Whiteknights Farm, Hampshire. Beginning with a quotation from a dream, it becomes the filmmaker’s interpretation of the harvest and the old mystic theme of the Mysteries: “The women are celebrating the Mysteries on the beach at Penmon… No-one is watching… The sound of the general waves crashing against the bank of pebbles; the sound of the barley waving… Someone holds out her hand, holds it open against the sea. Perhaps it is my hand, the hand holds three ears of barley…”.

Red Sea – Judith Noble, UK, 1982, 6mins

Spring tides at Ynys Llanddwyn at the full and new moon are compared to the filmmaker’s own ‘body tides’ from dark to light and back again. Like other films by Judith Noble (formerly Higginbottom), The Red Sea is concerned with the menstrual cycle, and its relationship to lunar cycle. Higginbottom and other feminist artists such as Catherine Elwes, Carolee Schneemann and Judy Clark were trying to reclaim menstruation from its negative image and assert it as a source of creative energy. The Red Sea is made of 16mm film and 35mm still images, re-worked and over-printed.

The exhibition runs from 23 November 2017 – 1 February 2018

Image: still from Mysteries  – Judith Noble, UK, 1982, 7mins