Arts / Charlotte Prodger work to be shown at Mareel

Mareel. Photo: Shetland News

THE LATEST film from Turner Prize-winning artist Charlotte Prodger will be screened for one night only in Mareel on 24 October, writes Alex Purbrick.

As part of a Scottish tour which started in Argyll on 27 June and ends in Aberdeen on 21 November, SaF05 is also being shown simultaneously in the 58th international Venice Biennale, the world famous, contemporary, visual art exhibition.

Prodger was commissioned by Scotland + Venice, which is a partnership between Creative Scotland, British Council Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland (with funding support from the National Lottery), to create SaF05 as the last in a trilogy of films that began with Stoneymollan Trail (2015) and was succeeded by BRIDGIT (2016) for which she was awarded the 2018 Turner prize.

These films are her autobiographical stories of love and loss, as well as queer identity and the varying expressions of gender as she progresses through the cycle of time.


Gender fluidity flows throughout her films and Prodger titled this film SaF05 from a tag given to a maned lioness in Botswana by conservationists due to the animal showing characteristics of a male lion. This animal is one of the last surviving maned lionesses in the Okavango Delta in Botswana and has been observed through camera-trap footage.

Prodger interspersed fragments of the lioness with autobiographical fragments of her own life drawing upon archival, scientific and diaristic and footage from the Scottish Highlands, the Great Basin Desert in Utah and the Ionian Islands.

Her deeply personal stories which are narrated throughout the film by Prodger herself, explores the intensity of the wild, natural world and how that affects our sense of place, our emotions and our identity.

She questions how having a queer identity would interact and be accepted in these wild, untamed arenas through a plethora of technological devices such as drones, static camera traps and her own smart phone.

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This is the first time the Scotland + Venice partnership have commissioned work that will tour rural Scotland at the same time as it is being presented to audiences in Vienna.

The screening in Mareel will include a short trailer documenting the project development made by Connolly Clark Film and will be followed by a talk by members of the Scotland + Venice team and curator Helen Nisbet.

Shetland Arts chief executive Graeme Howell said: “We’re thrilled to be hosting a screening of new work from such an important artist, and applaud this initiative to bring Charlotte Prodger’s work to remote areas of Scotland.”

SaF05 will be showing at Mareel on Thursday 24 October at 6.15pm. It is a free but ticketed event, with tickets available online.

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