July 4, 2022

Bun na Spéire

"A really special work. I can honestly say I've never seen anything like it before." - Robert Macfarlane

A 60-second preview of the 15-minute film.

Paul Kenny is a celebrated artist/photographer with an International reputation. He has been creating and developing his photographic works for half a century and has works in some of the worlds major public and private art collections.

Never shy to seek out new ways to express his unique artistic vision, over fifty years he has moved seamlessly from monochrome to colour, from analog to digital, from plein air to studio and from camera to cameraless. Now in his seventieth year his artistic journey has led to the creation of moving images.

“I commissioned the composer Richard J Birkin to write and record an original soundtrack. Now the two are combined I think it’s the most assured, lovely piece of work I’ve ever made.”

Created using seawater and scraps of metallic flotsam and jetsam collected from a beach at Downpatrick Head, Mayo, Bun na Spéire is the first completed moving image project and he commissioned me to create an original score. The film comprises a set of slowly evolving still images that hypnotise and sooth viewers over the course of fifteen minutes. Combined with music, the piece becomes a meditation, a unique fifteen minute visual and aural experience.

“Stunning…the slowness of the imagery really allows the music to slowly open out. It’s doing something quite incredible with stopping the flow of time.”

These works are not films or animation as such. Martin Barnes, curator of photography at the V&A called them “moving stills”. The title is an Irish language term for “horizon”, the literal English translation is “bottom of the sky”.

“I think it is a masterpiece. Hypnotic, beguiling, frustrating, enrapturingly beautiful, surreal, pictorial, mysterious, intangible, elusive, abstract. How could you not fall in love with it?”

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