What kind of a year has 2015 been for you?
Epic, difficult, enriching, kind of amazing in the end. I met some great people throughout, many who I can’t thank enough.
What has changed for the better and what, if anything, has changed for the worse?
A door has opened for me professionally, so I can’t really have any personal complaints. But the world is in deeper spirals because of rich subhumans.
What do you wish hadn’t happened this year?
I could have done without losing six years work on Cold Open in January.
What do you wish had happened this year, but didn’t?
Something I’m not going to tell.
What would you characterise as your major achievement this year and why?
Winning the Jarman Award. The year was low-lying with occasional, vertiginous peaks of joy; poverty jet-setting, I heard it called. It began with Rotterdam Film Festival, digital meltdown and benefit sanctions. A junction. I technically couldn’t make or finish video work, so I was having to rethink aspects of my practice just as I took up a residency in Paris. Analogue beckoned. I brought my squeeze box and found the French Irish trad musicians. Here I began a collective audio idea, Trees Prosper, collaborating with musicians, singers, a more social practice. Building bridges.
Six months in and the very handy Peter Taylor found me some funding from The Elephant Trust and I got to finish a 10-year edit, Fucking Finland Series, and to install it at the Berwick Film Festival. That support also helped towards a Trees Prosper collaboration with Irish singer, Len Graham. The poverty continued but I was working. It still felt absurd but I was adapting and this was a more tenable way to continue. More joyous anyway; putting people together.
During this time I was going through the processes of the Jarman nomination –making the the shortlist felt like winning. Some more people sat up to watch. LUX took an interest. Another achievement. The landscape of the year is ending on higher plateau. I got a lot of support and I’m absolutely made up about it. It saved me.
Is there anything you’d like to have done this year but haven’t?
To have seen more of my favourite human, but I did get to thank her. Go to Media City Film Festival in Windsor, Ontario. More noise making.
What would make 2016 a better year than 2015?
Leaving Belfast, Ireland, the British islands. For a spell. And something I’m not going to tell.