BEN RIVERS

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— Since school I’ve had a drawer full of images. Its grown over the years and the contents has been forced to move drawers with my own moving house. Some of these images go on the wall for a while, sometimes years, others stay in the drawer and wait to be looked upon when they’re needed. These images instigate things, ideas or parts of films. There are drawings, photos, paintings, postcards, newspaper and magazine clippings, storyboards. A lot of found stuff. They just sit in private most of the time, waiting their moment, unless it’s already passed. Here’s ten of the hundreds…


My first storyboard, drawn when I was a teenager at school. I never made this film but I wish I had. I look at it occasionally to have a laugh and wonder what would have happened if I had made it.


This has gone on and off my wall for years – two hands to make films with, one real, one fake.


First attempt at learning Japanese so I could move there and make films (not realised).


The mystery of painting found on the street.


Newspaper clipping that sent me driving to the south coast of England to make a film called WE THE PEOPLE.


Postcard of a man sitting in a post-war landscape.


You can’t see it clearly but this house is held down by steel cables – that’s how windy it is in this valley, up in the Arctic Circle in Norway. I tried breaking in but failed, so camped next to it. I was pretty scared at night and spent most of the time listening through the wind for bears. I was laughing at the absurdity of travelling all that way on my own, with the possibility of being mauled and not being found for weeks, to make a tiny quiet film of an abandoned film set – but in the end that felt pretty great.


A more recent sort of storyboard for MAY TOMORROW SHINE THE BRIGHTEST OF ALL YOUR MANY DAYS AS IT WILL BE YOUR LAST. I don’t do storyboards anymore, but as I was taking out 12 Japanese girls to film in the forest I thought it wise to have a few shots planned.


Photo found on the street.


This king was in the drawer for a while, but has spent more years than any other image on at least three studio walls – I’ve been waiting to put him into a film, and now, within weeks of writing this, his time has come.


Ben Rivers was born in 1972, in Somerset. Recent exhibitions include ON OVERGROWN PATHS, Impressions Gallery, Bradford (2010); SLOW ACTION, Picture This, Bristol (2010); ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES, Kate MacGary, London (2010); A WORLD RATTLED OF HABIT, A Foundation, Liverpool (2009); SLOW ACTION/ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES, Picture This, Bristol (2009). He has been the recipient of a number of commissions, including LAFVA 2007 and Vauxhall Collective commission 2008. Also in 2008 he won the Tiger Award for Short Film, IFF Rotterdam.

www.benrivers.com
www.katemacgarry.com