Margaret Tait: A Whole World at the Foot of the Stone


Margaret Tait and Peter Hollander, Perugia 1952. Courtesy of the Margaret Tait estate and Orkney Library and Archive.

Event Details

Thursday 13 June 2019


Morley College London

Join Morley Gallery, London for a screening of three films by Tait, one of the most visionary and stridently independent artists to have emerged from the UK. The programme will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker and curator Peter Todd, who knew Tait and has been instrumental in ensuring the legacy of her work.

Todd curated a major retrospective of Tait’s work at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (2004) and an international touring programme of her work entitled Subjects and Sequences in partnership with LUX and co-edited the book Subjects and Sequences A Margaret Tait Reader. He has presented Tait’s work at Tate Modern, London; MoMA, New York; Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, amongst others and local and community venues. In 2018 he curated the season ‘Rhythm & Poetry; The Films of Margaret Tait’ at BFI Southbank London. His film Together was premiered at the London Film Festival 2018 and this year he presented a joint programme of recent work at Close-up Cinema London with Guy Sherwin.

Please note that some of these films contain flickering patterns, and contrasting dark and light moving patterns.


Calypso, 1955, 4 mins
Hand painted directly onto film stock by Tait, this film features animated dancing figures, accompanied by calypso music.

A Portrait of Ga, 1952, 4 mins
The ‘Ga’ of the title refers to the filmmaker’s mother. The film gathers together her everyday actions to offer an abstract insight into her life.

Colour Poems, 1974, 11 mins
Seven linked film ‘poems’, described by Margaret Tait herself as follows: A poem started in words, and referring to distant memories…memory gets somewhat lost in the present observation, although it never disappears, and there are reverberations back.