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Artist Statement

Harrison Matthews - Artist Statement

My art practice is centred around film and cinema and given they have been a core interest of mine for many years, I find that film is the most effective way for me to express my ideas, problems, and experiences, bringing light to themes surrounding sensory overload, alienation and social isolation. The main theme of my work, however, is fear, especially the power of overcoming fear and the journey it takes to get there, with a specific focus on the fear of life progressing too quickly. I chose to study this, particularly due to the fact that nowadays fear seems to be built into our lives through the society that we live in, and therefore it is very difficult to escape from it, providing me with the motivation to express these fears in ways to learn from them, rather than letting fear control us.

My current film Forgotten is based upon how life has recently developed in a very rapid way, with the improvement of technology and travel being of the upmost importance, providing us with the mindset to maximise our productivity and do everything as quick as possible, making life become too fast. I have found that because of this people don’t go outside as much as in the past and thus don’t engage with others as much as they should, and so people have therefore become more isolated and are unwilling to help their community. This has led to the deterioration of relationships as well as decreasing the chances of serendipitous meetings, thus creating an antisocial culture. However, simply slowing down to enjoy the world around us, expanding our minds with knowledge and experiences, is worth way more than focusing on trying to save time and obsessing over wealth.

Forgotten centres around the life and experiences of one character in particular, focusing upon the world that they live in and how their anxieties and insecurities are affected by this busy, crowded world. This fear that I attempt to portray is called agoraphobia, as I focus on the overwhelming state of mind that this fear puts you in. While I was travelling back home one night on a highspeed train, and at the time, I was listening to music, and noticed my reflection on the window as if I was translucent. I used this as inspiration and accompanied it with the feeling and anxiety I get from travelling, the rushing feeling when walking through town as well as the feeling of people always judging.

In order to connect the audience personally to my film, using both third- and first-person point of views it allows them to sense how the protagonist feels, and how they might feel in the same situation. The editing techniques that I used to alter the clips in order to emphasise these themes, include changing the speed and the repetition of the clips, as well as focusing on the sound design by layering these sounds in order to enforce this overwhelming feeling.

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