Cut. Cast. Reveal
(16mm film, colour/black and white, silent. 9 mins, looped).
Cut. Cast. Reveal is comprised of twelve extreme close-up shots. In colour, of a gardener, obscured by the tree she is working on, as she prunes the branches and shoots of the box pine tree. And, in black and white, shots of students at The Royal Academy Schools in London taking down boards that for 30 years have covered a collection of plaster casts of architectural details (cornices, the capitols of pillars, etc.).
As they reveal them they touch and examine the casts, all based around floral motifs, notably Acanthus leaves. Shot using a long lens, the framing is very tight and reveals only details. Combined with the shallow depth of focus the image is almost abstract and only suggests the activity that is taking place.
Although both scenes have natural plant forms at their centre, the gardener practices a typically Japanese craft, while the casts in London exemplify classical European architectural design. (The casts were made from actual buildings to then be copied and distributed, or ‘published’, for study all over the world.)
As the gardener cuts and removes, the students uncover and reveal – one produces results that will only be apparent in many year’s time, the other reveals something that has been hidden for many years.
The film is presented as it was shot, without any editing and a relationship between the formation of the garden from these extremely specific and ‘localised’ decisions of the gardener, and the editing of film reels into spliced fragments, to form a whole, as well as the associations between casting, and film recording and printing processes, are gently suggested.
Cut. Cast. Reveal
Shot on location at the Ritsurin Garden, Takamatsu, Japan, and The Royal Academy Schools, London.
Grading and Printing
HAGHEFILM DIGITAAL, Amsterdam
Paul Dean at CINELAB, London
Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan
Staff of the Ritsurin Garden, Takamatsu.
Students of The Royal Academy Schools; Frank Kent, Claire Undy, Jack Killick.