El Bosque Encarnado

In early 2014 I decided to bring my filmed & photographic works online. It's long been my intention to tie these new media works to my painting practice: these are pieces which both inform and support my hands-on work.

Created in collaboration with Spanish artist Gonzaga Gómez-Cortázar, El Bosque Encarnado has just made it to round two of judging in the acclaimed BAFTA Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2015.

Literally translated, Encarnado (flesh-red) suggests incarnation, impregnation, the personification of a place, an object. El bosque: the forest (the Sierra Maria-Los Vélez Natural Park), its sometimes-hazardous Aleppo Pines, covering most hillsides for miles around: planted by man.

Struck by lightning, this patch of forest burned into a surreal vision, extinguished and exaggerated further by vivid artificially red fire-retardant. Man-made substances, poured over ‘natural’. Gómez-Cortázar and I are artists who scrutinize, who document traces. Much of our work is about recognition, about disappearance, about familiarity and indeed the loss of familiarity: this patch of forested hillside we both knew well, rendered unrecognisable, alien. The film is one of contrasts, both aesthetically and conceptually: of a sinister painterly beauty, of tragedy, and part homage to heroic action (in the case of the fire-fighters).

The film also explores environmental change in this region: Almería is fast becoming completely arid.