14 April 2015
“This is the kind of work that wins the Turner Prize”
– Stephen Farthing RA (Royal Academician, ex-executive director New York Academy of Art)
The installation unfolds across three large interplaying screens, with one screen apportioned to each character. As the night progresses and the three narratives cross, characters move between the screens – stepping from one to the next – and scenes are played from three angles simultaneously, creating a real-time immersive experience.
Warren and Ross-Southall drew inspiration for the characters within Eleanor from three different poems: If I Could Tell You by W.H.Auden, Acquainted With The Night by Robert Frost, and The Faithless Wife by Leonard Cohen.
They then approached three of the country’s finest young writers to interpret the three original source poems from which the characters had been conceived: Polly Stenham (writing Nicolas Winding Refn’s next film), Michael Lesslie (writing Assassin’s Creed for Michael Fassbender) and Anya Reiss (youngest playwright to be performed in West End). Their interpretations then formed three poetic character voiceovers that allow us access into the minds and souls of these solitary women.
The score for the film features music by Blaine Harrison from The Mystery Jets and Johnny Lloyd formerly of Tribes, whilst also featuring a collaboration with Romany Pajdak and Kristen McNally from The Royal Ballet.
We live in a society where our virtual selves are in danger of becoming more important to us than our relationships with real people, as we walk around glued to little screens with our faces lit up like ghosts. The modern world has increasingly become a place where we run the risk of becoming more and more isolated from one another.
In presenting three women who are each in their own way alone – we ask the audience to consider the nature of solitude, and how it may be present in their own lives. In granting them momentary access to the minds and souls of these women, we aim to touch something primal within the viewer and for them to walk out and take delight and comfort in the ‘real’ people they have around them. Their friends, their families, their loved ones.
The fact that Ruth plays all three women makes her something of an ‘everywoman’ – and the characters that initially seem nothing like us become powerfully relatable. It is at once a celebration of our individuality, but also of what unites us – our humanity. The combination of major art forms – cinematic aesthetic, music, poetry, prose and dance allows us to communicate a sense of the soul of these women, without being too prescriptive to the viewer.
They are able to connect in a fundamental, emotional way – and understand the tone and rhythm of the characters – rather than being bound simply by conventional narrative.
Eleanor is a piece about women, about people, about togetherness, about companionship, about human nature. It finds a levity and a colour within darkness, and strives to remind us that it is the people around us in life that are important.
Cost: £-- Free Entry