Artist Emily Richardson documents the fragile landscape of Sizewell, with sound by Chris Watson and LOOM.
Immaterial Terrain is a film made by artist filmmaker Emily Richardson along a seven-mile stretch of the Suffolk coast between Sizewell nuclear power station and the mythic drowned city of Dunwich. The film premiered at Snape Maltings in 2023, alongside three podcasts, featuring interviews with people who live and work in and around Sizewell.
Camera in hand, over the duration of a year Emily Richardson repeatedly walked this coastline. These walks – pilgrimages and acts of protest – structure a film that documents a singular and fragile landscape at an uncertain moment. Plans to expand the nuclear power station at Sizewell would have a lasting impact on the environment.
Resolving to look at the locale more carefully and with more appreciative eyes, Immaterial Terrain engages with ideas about energy, transformation, erosion, loss, erasure, memory and forgetting.
The film’s evocative soundtrack sees Richardson working once again with long-time collaborator Chris Watson whose sound recordings have been collaged with music composed in direct response to this unique coastal landscape by Suffolk-born producer LOOM.
Immaterial Terrain is an Arts Council England funded project made in collaboration with Jonathan P. Watts, Daniel Timms aka LOOM, Chris Watson and contributors from the Sizewell and Leiston area of Suffolk.
Producer and Director Emily Richardson, 2023
Music LOOM (Daniel Timms)
Sound Chris Watson, Jonathan P. Watts
Camera Emily Richardson
Editor Emily Richardson and Lucy Harris
Immaterial Terrain | Podcasts
Histories and Futures
Isolation and Community
Destruction and Conservation
Producers Emily Richardson and Jonathan P. Watts
Contributors Richard Symes, Boni Sones, Belinda and Paul Chandler, Bridget and Peter Chadwick, Noel and Pat Cattermole, Bill Howard, Pete Wilkinson
An Arts Council England funded production, 2023
A series of three podcasts by Emily Richardson and Jonathan P. Watts
Immaterial Terrain is complemented by a series of three podcasts that developed out of long semi-structured interviews by Richardson and writer Jonathan P. Watts with people who live and work in and around Sizewell. Titled Histories and Futures, Isolation and Community, and Destruction and Conservation, they explore the past, present and possible futures of the east coast of Suffolk.
Although Sizewell is home to no more than fifty full-time residents, this isolated place raises some of the most urgent planetary issues of today, including our relationship to natural resources, energy security, conflict, global relations, and large corporate interests in competition with democratic processes.
Emily Richardson is an artist filmmaker who makes films about the trace of human presence in the landscape and our changing relationship with the environment. Her films have been shown in galleries, museums and festivals internationally including Tate Modern and Tate Britain, London, Pompidou Centre, Paris, Barbican Cinema, London; Anthology Film Archives, New York and Venice, Edinburgh, BFI London, Rotterdam and New York Film Festivals. Her work is distributed by Lux, London and Lightcone, Paris.
Jonathan P. Watts
Born in Great Yarmouth, Jonathan P. Watts is an artist and writer based in Norfolk. He runs Josey gallery in Norwich and is a Tutor on Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art, London.
Chris Watson is a BAFTA winning composer and sound recordist who specialises in recording wildlife and habitats across the world. He has worked on some of the BBC’s best-loved documentaries including Frozen Planet and Life.
Daniel Timms (LOOM)
Daniel Timms is a composer based in the Isle of Dogs, creating ambient music inspired by the landscapes and history of Suffolk. Born in Suffolk, he focuses on evoking a sense of place through his atmospheric soundscapes: Timms creates music that reflects the region's natural beauty and cultural heritage.
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