Mike Marshall

11 September 2013
A Prism Splits Light

Worcester City Art Gallery

Purchased by the Contemporary Art Society for Worcester City Art Gallery. Worcester City Art Gallery’s historic collection focuses on landscape paintings from the 19th Century with a number of works by local artists such as the renowned Benjamin Williams Leader. The gallery’s collection of 20th Century painting covers a broad range of subject matter, including works by Alan Davie, Stanhope Forbes, Duncan Grant and Laura Knight. The contemporary collection continues the historical focus on landscape painting, exploring ideas of landscape with works by Fiona Crisp, Willie Doherty, Heather and Ivan Morison, and Paul Noble.
Mike Marshall’s film A Prism Splits Light, which was produced in conjunction with Stour Valley Arts, ArtSway and the Pharos Trust in Cyprus, features an olive grove in Cyprus that is tended by a Vietnamese couple who live in a small pre-fabricated home on the land. Hoa typically wears a traditional Vietnamese conical hat when she is working, while her husband Tung often dresses in army fatigues. They work together amongst a typically Mediterranean landscape in springtime. The soundtrack of the film features a variety of birdsong along with the occasional sound of distant gunfire issuing from an army base located just over the hill. Marshall’s film echoes the beauty of the Victorian landscape paintings in Worcester City Art Gallery’s collection. At the same time it offers a questioning look towards mankind and its current relation to nature, exploring the uprootedness of migrant land-workers, an issue with particular resonance
in Worcestershire.


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