Suspended opens at The Outsiders Gallery in London this week and features a series of paintings exploring weightlessness and gravity. “It’s also a contemporary response to religious renaissance paintings and questions what we worship, and how we experience ecstacy and wonder, in today’s society,” says Early.
In a striking alternative to a traditional documentary-style teaser, Telling uses colour, textures and movement to create a “meditative” piece capturing Early’s source material and creative process.
The film opens with hazy shots of aerial performer Tamzen Moulding suspended in mid-air, before cutting to close-ups of swirling paints and Early at work:
Early has previously worked with Moulding on a number of projects and conducts photoshoots with aerial artists to use as inspiration for her paintings.
Telling’s footage of the performer jumping on a trampoline was filmed at London’s Truman Brewery using a 20-foot-high scaffolding structure, which allowed him to capture a range of angles and backdrops.
The hazy opening scenes were created using a smoke machine, explains Telling: “as Tamzen would jump and go through various movements, it would turn to this haze for around 15 to 20 seconds, before it ended up looking like actual smoke. We did lots of takes to capture that moment in between but for me, it adds to the euphoric feeling you see in Chloe’s paintings,” he says.
Beautifully vivid shots of colliding paint were filmed in one take using no specialist rig or equipment, just a Pyrex roasting dish. “I think we did ten different colour scenarios, and whatever we had left after that, we just kept adding on top,” says Telling.
“[Using] a Pyrex dish meant we could light it below, but work with a small surface area for greater effect, which is why you see waves of colour from all different angles,” he adds.
“I was worried about treading common ground filming liquids, but I feel it works well as it incorporates Chloe’s colour palette whilst mirroring the movement from Tamzen,” he says.
Telling has worked on several promotional films for artists including HelloVon and Conor Harington, as well as brand films for Rapha, Kvadrat, Cos and Converse – you can read a feature on his work in our December 2013 issue.
He often works alone, single-handedly directing, filming, editing and composing an original score, but says Suspended is his most collaborative project yet.
“Working with a bigger team in production and post-production… allowed me to concentrate on the concept and the film’s narrative. When you see Chloe’s paintings in the flesh, there is so much depth and motion and you always see the figures in a wider context.
“The overall concept of the film, for me, is about this feeling of movement that you see [from] the documentary style shots of Chloe working in her studio to the more polished slow-mo ones of Tamzen and paints colliding. I felt the film needed to be [an] introspective view inside the paintings, [capturing] what is happening in the movement, and what it feels like and sounds like,” he adds.
Director/Editor – Andrew Telling
DOP – Thomas Wooton
Assistant – Alex Hyndman
Music – Lucinda Chua
Grade – Jon Leese-Pomfret
Titles – Christopher Thompson