Clyde Reflections

Clyde Reflections is a meditative, cinematic experience based on the marine environment of the Firth of Clyde on the west coast of Scotland. This 33-minute film opens up space for contemplation by reflecting the unfixed, shifting nature of relationships between people and place.

Clyde Reflections was one of 15 projects awarded funding under the 2013 Imagining Natural Scotland initiative which has been created to 'explore the interplay between the natural world and its representation, and promote deep collaboration and knowledge exchange between the creative and scientific sectors.'

Produced by the collaborative art-science team of artist Stephen Hurrel and social ecologist Ruth Brennan, the film features underwater and microscopic footage, combined with voice recordings of people who have a close relationship with, or specialist understanding of, the Firth of Clyde. These include a retired fisherman, a marine biologist, a diver, a marine conservationist, a spiritual leader and a physical oceanographer.

By engaging with people who connect deeply with their environment, Clyde Reflections presents a multi-perspective representation of a particular marine area in order to challenge a simplistic representation of this environment. The film provides a creative example of how 'landscape' is not a fixed entity, or separate from people, but is dynamic in terms of its socio-ecological properties as well as how it can be perceived.

The Imagining Natural Scotland team have published a landmark book that provides a visible and tangible record of the project. The book includes images and edited extracts from teams' project work and reflections on their collaborations. With the full permission of Creative Scotland, you can view the chapter written by Hurrel and Brennan here.
Since 2011, Hurrel and Brennan have produced work which reveals a multi-layered reading of place. Previous collaborative work includes Sea Stories, an innovative online cultural map of the sea, based around the island of Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, and the full-colour publication Belonging to the Sea, based around the islands of Arranmore, off Donegal in Ireland, and Barra (co-authored by Iain MacKinnon and Ruth Brennan, photography by Stephen Hurrel).

Clyde Reflections was premiered at the CCA, Glasgow (Centre for Contemporary Arts) on 11 September 2011 and is now available for viewing online. It is installed at GoMA, The Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow from 28 May-5 July 2015 as part of their Moving Image Season.

Clyde Reflections is dedicated to the memory of Professor Laurence Mee.

LINK to the film on Vimeo...


Project details

Duration: June 2013 - June 2014

Funders: Imagining Natural Scotland - Creative Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage (Value: £6,000)
. Additional funding provided by SAMS (Value: £1750) with support from MASTS

Partners: Stephen Hurrel (Hurrel Visual Arts)

Assistance in filming diatoms provided by SAMS scientists Cecilia Rad Menendez and Christine Campbell at the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP). SAMS biological oceanographer Professor Paul Tett features in the film.