Calling – a’ gairm

“I wanted to evoke a sense of being locked in the enclosed and isolating space of an internal dialogue between a dominant and dying language”


Calling – A’Gairm

Calling – A’Gairm is the first of a series of related films, video and sound works exploring communication by voice over distance, both physical, cultural, social and political. Set in Finland, a lone man calls out across a great expanse and intimate distance, his voice constantly slipping between English and Gaelic as the narrative thread builds, cuts and repeats to create a tightly scored interplay between voice, language and silence.

Filling the gallery with a persistent sound switching from the familiar to the unfamiliar, from the comprehensible to the meaningless, this installation produced an uncanny sense of fighting power forces. Language as carrier of history reveals the deepest conflicts between a dominant and a dying culture, the inner dialogue of a single man as epitome of a wider cultural and social condition.
In this installation Illingworth has explored how suppression of a language by a dominant culture can affect ones’ sense of self and create a sense of dislocation – geographical, cultural, political.

Total Visitor Numbers: 4,165


Exhibition Visitor Comments

It has been like engaging in meditation, listening and watching the video. The space feels solid calm and comforting. I loved the bass notes and the lilt of his voice, the pitched up bits of singing, the content. Excellent!

Catharsis, release, Jesus nailed to the cross, the background, the hiss of the big bang, the sound of creation.

At last! Extremely moving an interesting, resonant and evocative.


Image Gallery