Margaret Tait & Joanna Margaret Paul: People and Places at GFF19


Margaret Tait, Portrait of Ga, 1952. Courtesy of the Margaret Tait estate and LUX.

Event Details

Sunday 24 February 2019


CCA Glasgow, for Glasgow Film Festival 2019

Presented on the occasion of Margaret Tait’s centenary, this special programme features a selection of short films by the pioneering Orcadian filmmaker and poet (1918–99) alongside works by New Zealand artist, Joanna Margaret Paul (1945–2003).

Like Tait, Paul worked prolifically across the mediums of film, poetry and painting, portraying instances of everyday life from motherhood to the natural world. The programme is selected by curator and filmmaker Peter Todd and artist Kate Davis, and will be accompanied by readings of poetry by both Tait and Paul and a discussion between Davis, Todd, Dr Sarah Neely (academic researcher and writer) and Nicole Yip (Director, LUX Scotland).

We chose to alternate the films, weave them together, so that both Margaret Tait’s and Joanna Margaret Paul’s works would remain unique, but also they would have a dialogue between the themes they explore, and the images, the rhythms, and light of them. The choices include a simple pairing of portraits, Tait’s ‘A Portrait of Ga’ and Paul’s ‘Jillian Dressing’, and of poems on place, Tait’s ‘Aerial’ and Paul’s ‘Thorndon’. As female artists working with film at a similar period in time (Tait: 1950s–90s) (Paul: 1970–80s), there is no indication that they knew each other’s work – with Paul in New Zealand and Tait in Scotland. However their films share many concerns and approaches. Both worked locally and the films are often of a daily experience at home and surrounding places. Both appear to have seen making their artworks as a way of being in the world. Both shared a sense of wonder which came from looking through the camera – Kate Davis, Peter Todd

Works by Joanna Margaret Paul supplied courtesy of The Estate of Joanna Margaret Paul, Robert Heald Gallery and CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand. Part of Glasgow Film Festival 2019.