Joyce Campbell’s cinematic project The Reef explores an analogy drawn between two dying forms: analogue film and climate-stressed environments. Its title is taken from the featured moving-image work, which is central to the exhibition and which was shot at dusk on 16mm film, showing waves breaking over an endangered coral reef in Fiji.
The soundtrack to The Reef might be read as an attempt to rekindle in viewers an awareness of their relationship to the wider ecologies they inhabit. The sound of vocal ‘hushing’ is intermingled with a field recording of waves breaking on a reef. The overlapping sounds and their shifting volume push and pull one’s attention around the exhibition space, adding a degree of both intimacy and indeterminacy to what might otherwise appear as a kind of contemporary structural film.
In its quieter moments Campbell can be seen to create calm in the realm of the unsettled – that in the context of the overwhelming implications of climate change, she evokes a quiet space within.