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Videos showing a variety of live performances, multimedia poems and other visual records.

Jewels In The Dark
Lee Mackenzie

Jewels In The Dark

Jewels in the Dark is a multimedia video installation combining video art, music and poetry. It has been commission by the Psychology Department of Durham University and it seeks to encourage reflection upon the central tenets of the Athena Swan Charter: a UK-based Advance HE charter committed to gender equality and success for all people within the higher education sector. It begins and ends with a central message: ‘If we exclude a person’s gaze we view the world with one less heart; an equal betrayed for more jewels in the dark’ This message takes the form of poetry arranged as a pangrammatic window: across the three lines, each letter of the English language is used, signalling the benefits to an inclusive approach. The content of the message asks the audience to consider the nature of exclusion; what is lost when a single view is removed from consideration? The answer is then developed through a series of eight narrated poetry vignettes. Using visual imagery, audio soundscapes and psychological techniques, each vignette develops into a multi-sensory poem devised from words selected from the piece’s central message. The layering of imagery, and the placement and animation of text, references visual perception techniques, illusions, image processing, subliminal messages and colour associations, to both purposefully contradict and enhance the meaning of the text. The visual, audio and lexical readability is obscured, intended to disorientate, with increasing deconstruction of the screen, challenging the viewer to question the content and their understanding of it. The truth of multiple perspectives are presented, in order to elicit the questioning of preconceived ideas and stereotypes, highlighting the consequences of exclusion. Jewels in the Dark opens us up to the possibility of a continuum of experience, as opposed to clearly categorised viewpoints. By combining figurative footage with that of the natural world, and more abstract imagery, there is an implied ambiguity of scale, leading us to notions of unity and connectivity from the microcosm to the macrocosm. The accompanying soundscape leads the mind via the body: breathing, beating, speaking and finally, dreaming towards the piece’s climax: an immersive love song dedicated to Earth, its workers and the many jewels in the dark still waiting to be seen.

Youtube Channel

Performance of Poetry Maps at Forest Poets Zoom meet w/ Sarah Doyle & Sarah Westcott - May 2021, Zoomland, UK

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