The Journey – A Scottish Tale of Poetry in Five Landscapes
Through their delightfully inventive partnership- incorporating oil painting, music, dance, poetry and digital techniques- Diana Mackie and Alan Cleobury-Jones have created a cinematic love letter to the dramatic coastal scenery, ever-shifting weather patterns and light conditions of the Scottish Highlands.
When director Dan Brinkhuis from Science Media Netherlands visited Diana and Alan’s gallery on Skye, August 2014, he became intrigued by the early stages of their project- ‘The Journey.’ Later, both Diana and Brinkhuis suggested combining choreography- beautifully performed by dance student, Tina Fores-Hitt- to bring this remarkable collaboration to fruition. Furthermore, the spoken words of Amy Simmons’ poetry add yet another dreamlike element to be considered by the viewer. With the added fusion of digital aesthetics, there is a sense of movement and total immersion into the core of the paintings, where we come up close to their elements and get a rare experience of a particular aspect of their nature. As a result, the viewer does not experience the work in isolation but as part of a narrative space that surrounds it.
The opening and closing sections of ‘The Journey,’ with the gradual thickening and thinning of the harmonies reflect this sense of stepping forward into and backward out of the works and reflects the extraordinary, teeming interior life of the brush-strokes. Jones’s richly structured musical score creates spatial and compositional ambiguities, visual beauty and emotional impact, while Mackie’s paintings are arranged in a manner that parallels his own innovations and aims to create a bridge between music and the visual arts. Certainly, the kinship between these two artists is a special example of the intellectual affinity of artists in search of new vehicles for expressing their inner emotions.
Amy Simmons – Film Critic