Still from Katy Woods' film
Art Sheffield: Katy Woods
by Chris Ratcliffe
"Something that people don't know about. An invisible operation that silently operates." Katy Woods explored the unseen activities of the National Coastwatch Institution...
:: Art Sheffield ran between 16 February and 30 March throughout the city, and Katy's piece was on show during this time at Sylvester Space in Sheffield
As part of Art Sheffield 2008 Katy Woods, a 32-year old artist based in Sheffield, has exhibited a video at Sylvester Space.
"The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) is something that people don't know about. It's an invisible operation which operates silently," explains Katy.
Sheffield artist Katy Woods
One of Katy's main areas of interest is landscapes and places, and this is what she explores in the long-titled video, 'Sailing Dinghy Hawk 20 Passing Lookout on Passage from Gull Rock Towards Falmouth, Gull Rock is Starting to Disappear in the Mist'. In fact the title is so complex that even Katy has trouble reciting it without browsing the Art Sheffield brochure.
"It's about finding places out of sync with everyday and urban routine that causes a rupture in people’s everyday routine," says Katy who broke into fine art and video through a mixture of education and work.
After her undergraduate degree in fine art at Bristol in 1998, she spent five years "trying to find a job that wasn't horrible" before returning to art.
During this time she worked in TV archive and film education at Bradford Media Museum.
"It wasn't art that got me back into art", says Katie. "It was through my work on film."
Canoe in the sea
Developing video came with her Masters course in fine art at Sheffield Hallam University in 2003.
Filmed around the coast of Cornwall, 'Sailing Dinghy Hawk...' includes beautiful coastal shots and depicts the daily routine of the NCI volunteers.
The NCI tracks and records the movements of all vessels off the coast, including two canoeists who are surveyed during the film.
"One of the things they do is just watch things pass and activities start and finish."
The audio for the video is radio communication between coastguards, fishermen and other ships. The investigation into this silent and unknown organisation is reflected by the room it's shown in - not much larger than a small bathroom.
Filming took a week, yet Katy reassures us that it took a lot longer to edit and finalise. "It was a bit of an expedition every day to go and get to these places, to find them and film them," she says.
National Coastwatch Institution lookout
Katy was commissioned to produce a two to three minute film taken in one single shot for Lumen Short Film Commissions in Leeds.
The film will follow the same lines of her piece at Art Sheffield as she films Whitby harbour in North Yorkshire.
last updated: 01/04/2008 at 12:02