CONTINUUM 01 “SOUTH IN SELF EXILE” is the first film to come alive from the mind of landscape artist Jack Bailey.
Jack Bailey | PATAGONIA
We sat down with Jack for a chat about how he found himself staring at the clouds for hours on end for work. Anybody who owns a copy of The Cloudspotter’s Guide will appreciate how easy it is to lose hours in the sky and also how hard it is to capture their intricate beauty in a unique way.
Growing up in Sydney with a father in advertising gave Jack insight into the creative industry as a young cub. Enough of a taste to lure him into a role as a junior at the graphic design arm of an advertising studio. From here he crept up the ladder and landed a role as creative director for a sunglasses brand in the US. “Then I got jack of all the politics and ins and outs, the lack of creativity in a creative field. So, I quit my job and spent four months driving to Alaska. Through that, I taught myself photography. I’ve always had an affinity with the land so it felt natural to start shooting landscape photos.”
“My dear friend Dominic Rawle had passed on the basics, the gotos of photography, so on that Alaska trip, I developed my style. After that I just continued pursuing what I felt that style was… and this ultimately led me to shoot moving image.”
Defining Jack’s style beyond landscapes is difficult. Dark, brooding insights into painterly landscapes are how I would try. Details in minute moments found in the ever-evolving canvas of the land. “Once you’re sitting in the landscape all day waiting for the right light, you see more than most, absorbing a lot more information, and seeing little pockets of magic that form another larger landscape. I would almost describe my photographs as macro landscapes.”
“Sometimes people tell me they would love to buy one of my ‘paintings’ and that’s one of the best compliments I can receive.”
SOUTH IN SELF EXILE came into being from a trip to Patagonia where Jack and friend Jai Wallace-Prabhu photographed and filmed their way around the mysterious beauty in the South American wonderland. “Patagonia felt a little looser and more rugged than other places. It was appealing, I wanted to go as far away as I could, the end of the earth. Removed from normality”.
Jack teamed up Vinnie Laduce for the audial production of this sonic meditation. The synthamatic score is a brilliant companion to the untamed rolling power of Patagonia unfolding and twisting before your eyes. Beckoning you deeper into the unfiltered world of epic, natural beauty from Chilean Patagonia and the vast desert plains of Northern Argentina.
“I didn’t even know I was going to make a film from the Patagonia trip until after.” All those hours sat staring at the fog, waiting for the light to shift, Jack had been filming and photographing. Returning home to put together the work for a stills show the moving image became a refreshing alternative. “I had already directed and shot for other people, but I haven’t ever really focused on my thing. This was an opportunity for me to put my vision out there through moving image.”
The film doesn’t come with a definitive message. I know there are many political and social issues Jack is passionate about, it’s not that he’s apathetic. All the proceeds from the film will be funnelled back into Patagonia via Wild Ark.
The film is presented as a vessel of meditative influence. “I would rather just let people draw their own conclusions, hopefully presenting the film as a long-form landscape, on a cinema screen, will hopefully encourage people to absorb more, and escape the fifteen second hurried confusion that we’re bombarded with (through our phones). It’s okay to disconnect. I don’t want it to have a message, it’s a visual and sonic meditation… Basically, I wanted to do it, at the end of the day”.
I am prone as much as any to losing time as it scrolls by in the chaos and flurry of stimulation one comes up against in our society. A long form screening asking the viewer to sit in visual contemplation is message enough for me. Maybe we just don’t have as much time as we used to, but maybe it’s just the never-ending psychotic stimulation coming from every angle we now have.
“I just basically want people to chill out and remember what it is like it to sit down for an hour and look. Not to sit there for two minutes, get on your phone and leave, back into the chaos.”
CONTINUUM 01 “SOUTH IN SELF EXILE”
Premiering this Friday 21 December 2018 in Australia at The Byron Bay Community Centre
Remaining tickets on sale now. http://www.byroncentre.com.au
All proceeds go back to the land.
“The more time we spend removed from the mediocrity of society, the less we depend upon it.”
Turn on, tune in, Drop out.
Original synthamatic score by Vinnie Laduce
Shot by Jack Bailey and Jai Wallace Prabhu