My overall practice is driven by my fascination with the illusory qualities inherent in cinema and early animation. Imagining myself as a cinema pioneer I explore the interplay between the moving and the still, creating works that sit between the pre-cinematic and the digital.
By discovering low-fi ways to add movement to single images and commonplace objects/materials, my intent is to ignite an element of wonder at the illusion of cinema, giving the everyday enough of a twist to allow the imagination to run free.
We live in a society where the material is being replaced by the immaterial. This has drawn me to use tangible everyday materials in my work that I juxtapose with the relative immateriality of video. Behind the scenes of my videos there are various hand-crafted mechanisms that drive them that are hand-operated/cranked.
In recent years I have made kinetic works for audience interaction that have been shown internationally including Turner Contemporary, Margate, U.K, 1shanthiroad, Bangalore, India and Basement 6, Shanghai, China.
Ananas and The Flatfish
Solo Exhibition at PEER, London November 2020 - January 2021
'Fade' is a water-powered slide projector, made from wood and ceramic. The work takes the first self recording tidal gauge, an observation device erected on the Isle of Sheppey in 1830 as its starting point.
The tidal gauge communicated the movement of a float in the sea through pulleys, cogs and a pencil to draw and measure the tide onto a revolving cylinder of paper, as if the sea was drawing itself.
Visitors to PEER witnessed a short performance where a projected image of a seascape gradually appears to be flooding.
Drips of water operate a shutter that rises and falls like the tide.
Fade, 2020, wood, ceramic, stainless steel, sanded mirror film, spring, string, 35mm film & lenses.
140cm x 64cm x 31cm
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and a Jerwood Bursary.
Inspired by a residency on the Isle of Sheppey, Cementfields/ Whitstable Biennale
Image: Stephen White & Co.
Movements of a Flatfish,...... looped, 2020
An opaque shutter is attached to wires hung from a spring. A vessel attached to the bottom of the wires slowly fills with water contained in a vessel above. The weight of the water drip by drip gradually pulls the shutter over an inverted 35mm slide of a seascape.
The image is flipped the right way up by a lens. The shutter subtly vibrates in synchrony with the water dripping as it obscures the ensuing projection. This creates a pulsing apparition of a seascape that appears to be disappearing, flooding perhaps. All the while accompanied by the sound of water transferring from one vessel to the other.
Close up of the mechanics of 'Fade'.
'Movements of a Flatfish' is a new video piece for PEER. It is looped projection onto one of the large gallery windows, to be viewed from outside. By mechanically feeding a two-dimensional image of a flatfish through rollers the illusion of three-dimensional movement is created. The work is inspired by the early chronophotographic experiments of the 19th century French scientist Étienne-Jules Marey.
Movements of a Flatfish, 1 Minute, 5 Seconds, Looped, 2020
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England
The flatfish lies on its side on the seabed. It remembers its younger days when it had eyes on either side of its head. It was so easily distracted. As a fully grown adult its body has flattened and one of its eyes has migrated toward the other. Now both eyes are on the same side of its head looking up.
The flatfish observes the world slowly with sharp attention and focus.
The title of the exhibition references the South American fruit ananas, or pineapple. A staple food throughout South America, it was first introduced to Europe in the 1493 by Christopher Columbus. In the 17th century it became an indicator of status and wealth in Britain, and part of the trappings of colonial power well into the 18th century. Bual’s nine bow-activated stringed instruments produce sound when fresh pineapple tops are spun over the strings. The performance by The Pineapple Orchestra was at Bristol’s Colston Hall (now the Bristol Beacon) in November 2018, at a point when the venue was undergoing its name-change. Recent activist events in the city have highlighted the complexities around the civic statuary of individuals who were involved in or engineers of the slave trade. In Bual’s treatment of this subject, she proposes a provocatively playful response, and one that is open to dialogue and discourse.
Ananas and the Flatfish, PEER, London
The Pineapple Project, PEER, London