In the studio with Steve Richards and Rachel Cattle

Rachel Cattle and Steve Richards Rachel Cattle and Steve Richards - Photocredit: Helen Sumpter
Posted: Thu Jan 14 2010

This artist duo create multi-layered, semi-abstract short films and related text works, often by collaging together drawings with references from popular culture - in particular cinema and music - to explore philosophical and esoteric ideas. Their new film 'Cosmographia' is showing from Jan 23-Feb 21 2010 at Transition Gallery. They work from a studio in Hackney.

So what's with the obsessive drawings of the maze-like pattern?

RC: 'The pattern is based on the carpet in the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining. Kubrick's use of pattern was a starting point to look at how shapes and patterns recur - from a microcosmic scale of a molecule, to a macrocosmic scale of the universe. In 'Cosmographia' the same shapes exist in many different forms; as 2D drawings, 3D constructions and reflected kaleidoscopically in mirrors.'

And the dramatic, operatic soundtrack?

SR: 'That connects to certain other types of patterns - the idea of octaves, eternal recurrence and circular narratives. The film can be seen as abstract but also contains a narrative trace of an outward journey and a return. The soundtrack - an Italian aria, works in a similar way…'

RC: '…The aria is also about a journey but can have meaning without knowing the story or the language.'

That's a lot of ideas to pack into a ten-minute short…

SR: 'That's also a part of what the film is exploring - whether complicated ideas might be condensed. On one level it can only hint at these ideas - like the shapes of Platonic solids, which are referenced in the film. But if they are looked at in a certain light they might reveal a whole other story.'