Hope, if you are reading, you had a good Christmas. For me it was squeezed between hospital visits but managed to see both sides of the family, thought it meant 600 miles in 4 days. Also managed 2 parties at home!! Or get-togethers with good friends ….
And then I also managed the first fine edit of the video… and it is now under an hour thanks to some critical feedback at the 1.5-hour stage.
I managed to cut 30 mins easily as I’d inexpertly left in way too much narrative.
But thanks to the expert eye and experience of Benjamin Hunt, a young film/video maker here in Dover, it is now a lot sharper and even shorter – on its way down to 45 or 40 mins – and I’ve learnt loads.
So the good news is I am responding to treatment which means I get to have another 6 cycles of chemo and then probably maintenance chemo… I guess it means I have a bit more time and although I will have to live with a lot of uncertainty, I can anticipate being reasonably well for a while. Having done 6 cycles now, I’ll manage the next 6. There is a kind of rhythm to the side effects….
The film edit is coming along and I am paring back the sound and footage. I know with the internet it could be any length and watched for as long or as short a time as the viewer wants, but it will definitely benefit from a tighter edit. I think it’s something like 3 hours at the moment … eek!
It is so hard to make this film into one that is not a documentary – it feels like a bit of a tightrope. I am trying to have a narrative through the sound and a different narrative through the images or at the very least not match image and dialogue so that the final narrative has to be pieced together somehow.
I have been working on editing the film and realised the other day that the split between the once unified Russell Gardens (now public) and Kearsney Court Gardens (private) is something the film will explore – both topologically and psychologically – or at least I hope that is what emerges through the edit.
I am also interested in the hedges, a continuation of my interest in borders (that can always be breached)…..
I’ve been thinking about the difference between this residency and the one at Boldshaves garden last year. Boldshaves was a private garden open to the public for the Wealden literary festival and in the week in the afternoons at certain times of year. Russell Gardens is fully public but was part of a large private estate and is still formally linked to the private garden at Kearsney Court.
Like all gardens they are bounded spaces and also open to the universe: sky, land, water, trees and plants from all over the world; curated spaces which remind us that we are part of a world beyond any borders we may set up.
Gardens can be sanctuaries too: the formal layout and design of Russell Gardens provides a setting and a kind of calm that is a backdrop for the turmoil of our emotions and disruptions that life throws at us. Kearsney Court gardens have been a place of personal tragedy and also healing.