Listen to artist’s talk with curator Hammad Naser. Manchester Art Gallery 30.6.18

Published interview with Helen Petts about this film and Throw Them Up and Let Them Sing in Ocula magazine

British Art Studies essay “Cumbrian Cosmoplitanisms - Li Yuan-chia and Friends” by Hammad Nasar.

space & freedom

Commissioned by Manchester Art Gallery for the exhibition Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition 25 May 2018 - April 2019, curated by Hammad Nasar.

When Li Yuan-chia left the London art scene in 1967 for an old farm house on Hadrian's Wall in Banks, Cumbria, he said he was going in search of 'Space and Freedom’. Here he set up his own gallery and art centre and gave exhibitions to many local and international artists. His own work developed as a response to the rural landscape in which he now lived - expanding into photography, 8mm film and later video.

Artist film-maker Helen Petts was given permission by the Li Yuan-chia (LYC) Foundation to explore his film archive and make her own work in response. Editing Li's own footage (including two previously unknown sound recordings of his voice) with her own images and field recordings, adding original improvised music by Steve Beresford - she has explored the landscapes Li Yuan-chia loved around the LYC Museum and created a new work for the Speech Acts exhibition.

Original music Steve Beresford

Additional sound Jez Adamson

Sound engineer Dave Hunt

Supported by Arts Council England with financial assistance from the Li Yuan-chia Foundation and Manchester Art Gallery. 

Archive 8mm film and sound recordings courtesy of the Li Yuan-chia Foundation and The University of Manchester.

In the British Film Institute collection of artists’ films. 

Available to hire from Lux. 

Space & Freedom 2018 (extract). 8mm archive film and HD file with 5.1 sound. 22’17”