Estuary was made during the three weeks between December 17th 1979 and January 6th 1980. The film was shot from a small cabin boat moored near the mouth of the Keyhaven River. This is a place known to me since my childhood and the location for several paintings, films, and photographic pieces.
The camera was fixed relative to the motion of the boat as it responded to the action of wind and tide. This resulted in the intermittent scanning of 360 degrees about the central axis provided by the mooring, and a periodic vertical motion of about eight feet due to the rise and fall of the tide. A four second section of the film was exposed every fifteen minutes between dawn and dusk. The “takes” themselves emphasise the variations in movement of the boat as it swung to and fro on its mooring. Changes of light and weather conditions, fluctuations in the height of the tide, and sudden changes in wind direction are accentuated by the intervals of these “takes.” Sound was recorded in the same way, and has been subsequently “cut” to respond to the picture track. The result of this procedure is a film which not only records the changes in light and weather over a period of three weeks, but also, in a very direct way, the interaction between the forces of winds and tide.
Made with assistance from the Arts Council of Great Britain.