Announcing two world premieres for Berwick: The Last Frontier by Kelly Richardson, and Better To Wear Out Shoes Than Sheets by Matt Hulse


Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival is delighted to today announce two new world premieres for this year’s programme, North by Northeast, taking place in locations across Berwick-upon-Tweed from Wednesday 25th to Sunday 29th September 2013.

The Last Frontier by Kelly Richardson

A world premiere of a new, immersive, moving image installation from celebrated North East-based artist Kelly Richardson.

Entitled The Last Frontier, the work depicts a fictitious, future landscape in which the frontier forests have disappeared, developing the ideas and technologies that went into Richardson’s recent works, such as Mariner 9. Within the sublime, otherwise empty mountainous terrain is what appears to be an explosion of sorts, an electrical looking, stormy, churning dome which is neither expanding nor receding. Rather than destructive, is this 'Last Frontier' some kind of bio-dome, an artificially created atmosphere meant for the preservation of life, a kind of last stand?

The Last Frontier – which will eventually become the first in a series of five videos – has been funded by Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC), through its Artists’ Projects Fund, Arts Council England and Canada Council for the Arts. Visual Arts in Rural Communities is very pleased to have been able to support this project with its largest single award of £5000.

The large-scale installation will be presented 26th – 29th September, in Berwick’s historic Bankhill Ice House, owned by the Berwick Preservation Trust.

Kelly Richardson said today “I have coveted the Bankhill Ice House ever since I first entered it during the first year of the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, so I'm absolutely thrilled to be presenting work in it this year. Its underground cave-like/bunker structure perfectly reflects the ideas in the work and as the projection is set within a wintery terrain, the ice house's chilly temperature promises immersion beyond sight and sound."

The installation is being presented in partnership with Visual Arts in Rural Communities, with the support of the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Sustainable Development Fund.

Better To Wear Out Shoes Than Sheets by Matt Hulse

Centered around a mysteriously abandoned camping spot, Matt Hulse's three-screen installation playfully revisits and reassembles footage, props, costume and artifacts from his feature film Dummy Jim, about profoundly deaf Scots cyclist and author James Duthie, who pedalled solo to the Arctic in 1951. In this newly commissioned installation, possessions belonging to Duthie himself complete an engaging, kaleidoscopic exploration of character, adaptation, process, mythology and memorialization. ?

Entitled Better to Wear Out Shoes than Sheets, the exhibition will be presented for the first time Thursday 26th – Sunday 29th September, 11am – 6pm, free of charge in The Gymnasium Gallery, venue courtesy of English Heritage and Berwick Visual Arts. ??

On Saturday 28th September at 3pm there will be a special screening of Dummy Jim, Hulse’s feature film based on James Duthie’s journal, I Cycled to the Arctic Circle from 1951. The artist-director received a copy of the journal from his mother in 2000 and was inspired to tell his story. Created as part of a wider cross-platform project and crowdfunded through pioneering techniques predating Kickstarter, Hulse’s own adventure was 13 years in the making. Dummy Jim made its world premiere in competition at Rotterdam International Film Festival this year, and its UK premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival where it was nominated for the Michael Powell Award. The film will be presented at The Maltings Theatre & Cinema in Berwick with a live Q&A with director Matt Hulse and lead actor Samuel Dore, BSL-interpreted for the deaf, with support from Community Foundation.

Matt Hulse said today “The commission offers me a rare opportunity to revisit the wealth of material that was generated in the making of Dummy Jim and tackle it from fresh angles, perspectives and - most importantly - freed from the constraints of linear narrative storytelling. Recombining props, footage, sounds and texts will allow me to articulate the physicality of film and the cyclist's experience to audiences in new ways, whilst also continuing to explore 'who' Dummy Jim really is, especially now that the previously little-known cyclist is the subject of a critically acclaimed film biopic. The journey's not over yet."??

Samuel Dore will lead an ‘Acting for Camera’ workshop for young people as part of the Festival on Saturday 28th September, and Matt Hulse will produce a ‘Make Your Own Soundtrack’ workshop open to all ages on Sunday 29th September – both drawing on elements on Dummy Jim.

Festival Director and Curator Melanie Iredale said today “Both Matt and Kelly have had short video works screened at Berwick a number of years ago as emerging moving image artists – and we’re delighted to be presenting such ambitious new installations by them this year. It’s really exciting to be premiering the works for the first time as part of our programme – and I look forward to seeing them tour elsewhere following the festival.”

Further information & booking:

Early Bird Festival Passes are available now via the Festival website or from The Maltings Theatre & Cinema Box Office, in person or by calling 01289 330999. Buying a Early Bird Festival Pass allows you entrance to all films and events for only £30 or £25 for concessions until 25th August (when the price will increase to £35/£30 conc.). The full Festival programme will launch mid August.

For the latest news and information on the Festival check our website, follow us on Twitter or friend us on Facebook @berwickfilmfest.

Image credits:

The Last Frontier by Kelly Richardson
Better To Wear Our Shoes Than Sheets by Matt Hulse

Media contact:

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Nicky Harrison, White Hot Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 191 280 8020 / +44 (0) 7824 390826

Images can be downloaded from the Festival website:

Notes to editors:

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival is an international celebration of the art of the moving image, set in the historic border town of Berwick upon Tweed and looking out onto the North Sea. The inaugural Festival took place in September 2005, with a vision to transform Berwick into one big moving image installation – a visual and cultural spectacle – and the celebration has taken place every year since.

With eight editions under its belt, the Festival has established a reputation for being imaginatively and ambitiously curated - producing a screening programme, a promenade of installation works, a number of new commissions, and a lively selection of special events, artist talks and hands-on workshops across a number of venues.

The Festival has commissioned 17 works to date, each of which have premiered in Berwick before going on to be presented at the likes of Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Whitechapel Gallery in London, as well as to galleries and events as far as Canada and to the British Council Pavilion at the UK Now festival in China. Previously commissioned artists include VJ Vicki Bennett, performance video artist Marcus Coates, sound artist BJNilsen and photographer Mishka Henner. Since September 2012, one of the Festival’s commissions, A Live Road Movie, by Screen Bandita and The One Ensemble has gone on to tour from Aberdeenshire to London, while another new commission, Photographers, by Miska Henner and David Oates has racked up over 35,000 views online.

Just last month, the Festival announced new commissions for Mercury Prize-nominees Field Music and Norwegian artist Sidsel Christensen.

Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2013: North by Northeast

Set in the far North of England, and straddling the border with Scotland, this year’s programme will explore our region’s historical, industrial, travel and trade links with Northern Europe, uniting filmmakers, artists and audiences from around the North Sea rim.

The 9th edition will take place Wednesday 25th – Sunday 29th September 2013, and the Programme will launch on 15th August. For more info on the Festival, go to

With last year’s Festival resulting in Berwick’s B&B’s “selling out,” Festival organisers recommend visitors book early. Please go to for information on local accommodation, or call Berwick Tourist Information Centre on +44 (0)1289 301 780.

Kelly Richardson

Artist Kelly Richardson has been widely acclaimed in North America, Asia and Europe, with her work selected for the Beijing, Gwangju and Busan biennales, and major moving image exhibitions at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, USA), Caixaforum (Barcelona, Spain) and Le Fresnoy (Tourcoing, France). Her video installations have been included in the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival in New Frontier (2011 and 2009) and in 2009, she was honoured as the featured artist at the Americans for the Arts National Arts Awards. A 15 year retrospective of her work is currently on tour, beginning at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (UK), followed by the Grundy Art Gallery (UK), Towner (UK), Albright-Knox Art Gallery (USA), and the Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver (Canada). Born in Canada, she has lived and worked in North East England since 2003.

Matt Hulse

Matt Hulse is an artist who makes films, working with text, web, music/sound, performance, live events and community to articulate and share his curiosity and observations. His work is playful, innovative and collaborative, crossing and combining genres, techniques and platforms. Best known for his award-winning shorts and first feature, documentary Follow The Master (2009), Hulse’s films have screened at film festivals internationally since 1990. The founder-curator of the Audible Picture Show, a touring presentation of audio art works for darkened cinemas, since 2009 Hulse has been the organiser of the Sign Language Cinema festival, a showcase of deaf moving-image culture. Dummy Jim (2013) is his second feature.

Key Partners

Arts Council England, British Film Institute, Creative England

Project Funders & Sponsors

Community Foundation // PRS for Music Foundation // Simpsons Malt // Inntravel // Northumberland AONB Sustainable Development Fund // National Youth Film Academy // The Co-operative Membership // Arch Group // The Royal Norwegian Embassy // Queens Hall Arts // General Mills // Yellow Book // Northumberland County Council // Berwick Town Council // Martins the Printers


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