MOVING IMAGE LONDON: DANIEL PHILLIPS
|IMAGE: Daniel Phillips, Convent of St. Mary, 2012, single channel video projection, installed at Moving Image London.
Photo: John Hindle
On View: October 11 — October 14, 2012|
October 11-14, 2012
Oxo Tower Wharf
London SE1 9PH, UK
Located in the highlands of Peekskill, NY, the abandoned Convent of St. Mary was established in 1872 and served the community until 2003. The cemetery is located near the 1876 Abbey and and 1896 Chapel. Sisters were buried in the cemetery until 2003 when the Convent was moved to Greenwich, NY.
In 2012, I had the opportunity to spend the summer and early fall in Peekskill as the Hudson Valley Contemporary Art Center's resident artist. With access to a large abandoned warehouse on the riverfront as both a studio and exhibition space, I spent much of my time exploring the area and gathering imagery that spoke about Peekskill and its place in the Hudson Valley. I visited St. Mary's several times before finding the right opportunity to photograph, as I felt it was a place with an identity unto itself as much as a hidden part of Peekskill's landscape. Over the course of several hours, I photographed sun, clouds, wind, and trees casting a constantly shifting light and dark across the overgrown cemetery and stone crosses marking the sisters' graves. Taking one picture every ten seconds, I play the images back at a speed conveying motion, condensing several hours into four minutes. The time-lapse effect enhances the dramatic shifts from light to dark and sense of motion as grasses, leaves, and trees constantly buckle and bend. At the same time, the camera remains fixed throughout, and this is a record of nothing other than the passage of a day like any other in a space that remains unchanged for one hundred and forty years. This visual heightening of the passage of time relates to the monastic emphasis on a life of reflection and spirituality.