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Ben Reilly There's Nothing on this Fecking Side for Christ’s Sake (1999)

Michelle Deignan
‘Her Fanciful Digression’ (2012)
July 24 – October 5, 2013

Her Fanciful Digression (2012) by Michelle Deignan is set in an ubiquitous landed estate in England, where lingering shots of the ‘natural’ landscaped gardens offer a sympathetic background to the narration of an imagined meeting between Irish feminist Anna Doyle Wheeler (c.1785-1848) and her contemporary, English landscape painter John Constable (1776-1837). Echoing Doyle Wheeler’s and Constable’s meanderings through their host’s parkland, the film follows two male apprentice romantics, adhering to the tenet of which Constable proffered his students to observe, sense and draw with one’s memory of the natural world around them. 

Michelle Deignan’s documentary form recounts briefly the events that contribute to Doyle and Constable’s meeting, through Doyle’s encounters with leading theorists, philosophers and artists, and her remarkable life of promoting feminist theory and equal rights for women through her travels between Dublin, London and Paris in the early nineteenth century. Deignan’s astute photography and editing enables a playful skewing of the anticipation of the narrative and visual motifs whilst revealing occurrences behind their own production. Smoothly jolting - from spring to autumn, from the third person to the first, from fact to fiction - the film questions one’s perception and memory.

The narrative in Her Fanciful Digressions questions the supposed singularity of artists working within the Romantic tradition. Deignan’s four protagonists place an emphasis upon the multi-disciplinary relationships at this time, which led to creating new artistic and political changes across Europe and this collective creativity still resonates in the contemporary.

Michelle Deignan is an artist and filmmaker and has exhibited in over 50 national and international exhibitions and festivals including: 'New Work UK - Trust Yourself', Whitechapel Gallery, London; ‘Prelude Speaker-Contemporary Castletown, Dublin;  'Europart - New Contemporary Art from Europe', Vienna; 'transmediale.08', House of Cultures, Berlin; 'Il Cittadino', Milton Keynes Gallery, UK; 'Film Programme 1', Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe; 'Black Box Programme' at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
Michelle Deignan is represented by Maria Stenfors, London.

Artist Talk: Thursday 26 September, 6 pm
Michelle Deignan will discuss Her Fanciful Digression and her practice. .