Produced in 2010 in collaboration with performance artists Alastair MacLennan and Sandra Johnston. It explores the transformative qualities of the landscape through alchemy, situated in a sense of the uncanny, the seen, the felt and the imagined. Filmed in the Scottish Borders, the work explores an alchemical and pre-scientific sense of transformative engagement with landscape and the elements.

Runtime: 29m 27s

See it on Vimeo: Alchemist.

The work draws on the the works of the 12th century Scottish alchemist, astrologer, mathematician and magician Michael Scot. Extracts from Scot’s Medieval Latin manuscripts form part of the soundtrack, read by Allan Hood.

The installation format was conceived as a transformation space – a kind of alchemists laboratory in which real-time image transformations might occur. It consisted of two large projections shown back to back in the centre of the room, with large scale black mirrors mounted at 90 degrees to each screen, effectively doubling each projected image in a reflection of itself. On one projection screen the film was shown conventionally – moving forward in time, while on the second screen the image was horizontally mirrored and played backwards, mirroring the flow of both time and meaning.

The work is 30 minutes in duration as a single channel film, or one hour in duration as an installation.

First shown in its installation format at Glasgow International

Available screening formats:
Single channel HD digital video. Source format: 1280x720p, Apple Pro Res 422

Credits: Camera, editing and sound: Richard Ashrowan, performance actions Sandra Johnston, Alsastair MacLennan and Bridie Ashrowan. Additional vocal material by Bridie Ashrowan.