Nova Paul, 2015
16mm film transferred to digital video, colour, sound, duration 6 min 35 sec
Courtesy the artist
Originally commissioned by CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa.
Commissioned as a response to an untitled poem from the collection Like Love Poems by artist Joanna Margaret Paul, Nova Paul’s Still Light is a beautiful reflection on the domestic and intimate. Shot in 16mm film, the camera traces around objects and watches light shift across the surfaces, creating fluctuations in colour and flickering shadow. A fittingly tender soundtrack is provided by Nova's friend and sometime collaborator Bic Runga.
The room is close with mystery
heavy green folds of velvet curtain
are patterned with light
the sky breaks in panes of almost blue
& casts a white mirage upon the
mirror filled with things
the white dove-cote outhouse
received from another window
with its dark apertures
a mound of sunlit ivy
a light blue room
caught, held in the
round lid of some vessel
open on the dressing table.
Or so the room seems to be
heavy & punctuated with mystery
in the early stillness & I would
drift out & put on the room, the day
a close & heavy garment
for my pregnancy,
but the obdurate shape by my side
prevents my peaceful
mingling with the folded curtain & the light
the mirror the window the pale day…
Extract from an untitled poem, published in Joanna Margaret Paul, Like Love Poems: Selected Poems (edited by Bernadette Hall, Victoria University Press, 2006, pp.30–31).
An online series of moving image works exploring social distance and personal environments including works from Xin Cheng, John Chrisstoffels, Conor Clarke, Ronnie van Hout, Sonya Lacey, Janet Lilo, Sione Monu, James Oram, Nova Paul, Bridget Reweti, Sriwhana Spong and Matavai Taulangau.
Considering the recent popularity of the word ‘bubble’, the Spheres series examines how we interact, and our emotions, thoughts and sensations in relation to our surroundings. German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk described societal structure spatially, as spheres expanding from intimate bubbles to globes and foams. These works offer different perspectives on social distance, personal environments and the close radius of home.
We invited artists to share something of their spheres, the ideas and places they live with and around. Their works touch on a variety of concerns, from environmental issues to consumerism and the importance of preserving cultural knowledge. Experienced online, they also reflect on representation and the contemporary circulation of imagery and information, the transfer to digital that allows us to reach out into the world.