Throw Them Up and Let Them Sing (extract) 2012. 25’. HD colour and b&w. 5.1 dolby stereo.

Art Monthly - October 2012

David Briers views a filmic response to the life of Kurt Schwitters

'Helen Petts avoids historically fetishising Schwitters, electing instead to compose her film with the same combination of great care and mercurial randomness with which Schwitters made a collage or poem.' Read article

In 2012 Helen Petts completed a journey to make an artist’s film exploring wild rural landscapes, improvisation and visual and sound collage, following Kurt Schwitters’ escape from Nazi Germany to Norway and Ambleside in the Lake District. It was originally commissioned by the Hatton Gallery Newcastle, exhibited alongside Schwitters’ Merzbarn Wall, as part of a solo exhibition with other text and lens based work. In the spirit of Schwitters’ Merz music, the film featured improvised sounds by leading free improvisation musicians, Phil Minton, Roger Turner, Sylvia Hallett and Adam Bohman. Helen also curated a concert of music at the Sage Gateshead on the 30th June. Part of the London 2012 Festival commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad under the Unlimited programme.

Hatton Gallery, Newcastle. Solo exhibition. 2012. View concert at Sage Gateshead.

Royal Festival Hall Unlimited Festival, South Bank Centre London. 2012.

Abbot Hall Gallery Kendal, alongside Schwitters’ Collection. 2012. 

Listen to artist’s talk with curator Nick Rogers. 

Tate Britain Schwitters in Britain 2013. 3 screenings and symposium. 

Trøndelag Senter for Samtidskunst, Trondheim, Norway. Solo exhibition 2013

Møre and Romsdal Contemporary Art Centre, Molde, Norway. Exhibition 2013.

Oslo Cinemateket 2016.

Arkipel Film Festival, Jakarta 2018. British Council Indonesia sponsored trip. Read article.

In the British Film Institute collection of artists’ films. 

Available to hire from Lux. 

Petts kept a blog of her journey which became part of the exhibition and was published as a book. Read or download                                                

throw them up and let them sing