I was intrigued by artist Louise K Wilson’s additions to the 1975 movie Picnic at Hanging Rock. Her new work Missing Scenes: An Evening at Hanging Rock was commissioned by Spacex as part of Topophobia and presented at Exeter Phoenix as a one-off event on 6th July.
Louise K Wilson showed Peter Weir’s (shorter) director’s cut in its entirety, along with various audio and visual interventions, the most prominent of which were snippets of recorded interviews with Devon locals Val Bogan, Joe Loxton and Michael Calver. They talked informally about their impressions of the book by Joan Lindsay, on which the film is based. Wilson also gave a tantalising hint of the contents of the final (missing) chapter, which offers a solution to the mystery at the heart of the story.

I enjoyed seeing this excellent film again, and hearing different views of the novel as we went along (though, as my companion pointed out, it was bit like watching TV when someone else has control of the remote and keeps hitting pause). However, I confess to feeling slightly puzzled about what Louise K Wilson intended by taking on this iconic film for a rework. The event felt like an exploration of mystery and uncertainty, the activities of speculation and explanation, the inevitable blurring of fact and fiction and the multi-layered meanings of texts…

Perhaps it’s only right that I really can’t be sure.

Permission to post this text kindly granted by Gabrielle Hoad

9 July 2012

We’re really looking forward to this week of Arts Award activities (6–10 August), we’ve had a lot of interest and are aiming for it to be a vibrant and dynamic experience for the young people involved, with excellent value for money.

It’s a first for us to offer this Award in a week – both Spacex and Exeter Phoenix have been running Arts Award for a few years now but thought it’d be a good idea to offer this focussed time within a holiday club format to achieve the award and really get it under your belt. Going back to school in September with a certificate under your belt should be a real springboard into the new school year. We’ll be taking the young people around a range of venues around town – the museum, other galleries, theatres – maybe even ECFC! Both Spacex and Exeter Phoenix have good links with a variety of organisations and artists and other creative practitioners and it’ll be great to share these with the young people. Arts Award is a brilliant way for young people to gain new skills and meet with like minds, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that this pilot will become a regular part of what we offer. For more info click here or to book a place email kathy@spacex.org.uk


7 July 2012


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22 June 2012

Louise K Wilson was invited to work on a new commission in parallel with the Topophobia exhibition. The resulting work, Missing Scenes – An Evening at Hanging Rock, is based on Peter Weir’s iconic film Picnic at Hanging Rock.

For the production of Missing Scenes the artist worked with three local people, who were invited to read the original novel by Joan Lindsay, in which a picnic that begins happily, ends in terror. Each reader was later interviewed by the artist about their recollections of the novel and their subsequent trains of thought. For Louise, it is a story that fascinates since, unusually,  the mystery of the disappearances is never solved. She was interested in the idea of creating an ad hoc reading group who might individually arrive at differing theories and thoughts about this particular aspect. In the course of conducting the interviews, she was intrigued to discover how the process of reading the novel also sparked off a range of personal memories amongst the readers.

Missing Scenes – An Evening at Hanging Rock will consist of Weir’s original 1975 feature film interrupted with video and sound interventions including extracts from the reading group interviews. It will be presented as a one off performance at Exeter Phoenix cinema on 5 July, 2012.


Video trailer for Missing Scenes – An Evening at Hanging Rock

20 June 2012

For further information, images or contact with an artist please contact Spacex.

tel: 01392 431 786, email: mail@spacex.org.uk

7 June 2012