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Previous Winners

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Charity by Kate Davis (2017, 16m)

Inspired by the ways in which Margaret Tait’s films invite us to contemplate fundamental emotions and everyday activities that are often overlooked, Davis’ film questions how the essential but largely invisible and unpaid processes we employ to care for others and ourselves could be re-imagined.

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Evolutionary Jerks & Gradualist Creeps  by Duncan Marquiss (2016, 30m)

Evolutionary Jerks & Gradualist Creeps features interviews with two evolutionary biologists, Niles Eldredge and Armand Marie Leroi, in which they discuss the controversies surrounding Eldredge’s theory of Punctuated Equilibria – a stepped-change picture of the history of life within the fossil record, which Leroi also sees in the evolution of pop music. The conversation considers the analogies and differences between the cultural and the biological realms, and is interwoven with a diversity of footage shot by Marquiss, drawing on Eldredge’s pattern of evolution as a cue for image-making processes and editing structures.  

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O.K. Rick by Florrie James (2015, 50m)

O.K. Rick is a short drama set on Mainland-5, a fictional island inspired by both Orkney and Shetland. The film imagines female versions of Rick Blain and Victor Laszlo from Casablanca, travelling around Mainland-5 collecting data for the National Census. During their journey walking and hitchhiking around the island they encounter struggles surrounding ownership of the shore, ideas of democratic representation, and their own feelings of powerlessness within the structures of government manipulation and exploitation.  

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The Stoneymollan Trail by Charlotte Prodger (2015, 54m)

Winner of the 2014 Margaret Tait Award, Charlotte Prodger is ‘an experimental filmmaker who, like most serious artists, has thought very long and very hard about the way she creates her art’. Her work customarily brings together narratives from a variety of sources in multi-channel sculptural installation. The Stoneymollan Trail is Prodger’s first film for the big single screen. It brings together multiple formats including digital animation, archive footage on MiniDV that Prodger shot between 1999 and 2004, iPhone footage and YouTube material, and considers way to block, divide and reveal.  

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A Whole New World by Rachel Maclean (2014, 32m)

2013’s winner Rachel Maclean largely works with green screen composite video, creating hypercoloured fantasy worlds around existing audio, and was also shortlisted for the Jarman Award. A Whole New World portrays the fantastical ruins of a fallen empire. Combining grand narrative with cheap product placement, the work explores themes related to British Imperial history and national identity. Maclean plays all the outlandish characters as the action shifts genre, from an all-singing, all-dancing musical score to sedate period drama and battlefield conflict.  

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Outwork by Stephen Sutcliffe (2013, 25m)

Winner of the 2012 Margaret Tait Award, Stephen Sutcliffe’s artistic practice combines taped footage, poems, archival material and collage generated from his personal archive of British television and spoken word recordings from the last 25 years. He was inspired by Erving Goffman’s book Frame Analysis to create his film Outwork. Goffman, a sociologist, explores how conclusions drawn from events and interactions shift dramatically due to changes in their framing contexts. Sutcliffe employs this premise structurally, with a series of images and animations which explore the determining influence of titles, prefaces and introductions on the body of work that follows them.

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And Under That by Anne-Marie Copestake (2012, 30m)

Winner of the 2011 Margaret Tait Award, Anne-Marie Copestake created And Under That which has gone on to screen in Bristol, London and Canada. Her work encompasses text, sculpture, film and video, and she has produced several bookworks. And Under That combines footage and sounds surrounding two women - a portrait through the act of looking, finding, and listening. Emerging themes are legacies and patterns of so-called emancipation. The film screening can be followed by a live soundtrack performance by Glasgow-based musician/composer/producer Stevie Jones and band Muscles of Joy, of which Anne-Marie Copestake is a member. 

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 that now by Sarah Forrest (2013, 10m)

Winner of the inaugural Margaret Tait Residency in 2012, Sarah Forrest’s film ‘forms the perfect metaphor for the return home after time spent in a different space. The film utilises a domestic interior and we see aspects of Orkney projected onto its walls. Buoys in the harbour bob above the kitchen table. The artist’s voiceover tells a third story running concurrently with this layering of place. In a blog by Sarah, she talked of a ‘flickering epiphany’ in Orkney, describing the moment when she knew how she could bring the strands of her research and film footage together. The resulting film reminds [us] of Margaret Tait’s ability to quietly capture surrealism and magic from the everyday and commonplace.’ (Jenny Brownrigg, Glasgow School of Art)  

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At the Heart of Everything a Row of Holes by Torsten Lauschmann (2011, 30m) 

Winner of the inaugural Margaret Tait Award in 2010, Torsten Lauschmann is known for producing work that exists in different forms and on multiple platforms, he has always resisted categories. He makes films and music, programs computers, and has a DJ persona. At the Heart of Everything a Row of Holes is a satirical celebration of the conquest of technology and the clash of homo faber, the making man, with homo ludens, the playing man. For this surround-theatre event, Lauschmann is positioned alongside the audience, armed with a handheld projector which screens a series of special visual and sound effects that bounce around the walls, floor and screen.

All the Margaret Tait Award winners’ films are now being made available to venues, for more information please visit the Margaret Tait Award on Tour page.

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