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UAL Research Online

Keepsake [Welsh: Cofiwch]

Shore, Tim and Hattosh-Nemeth, Jeremy and Dupras, Martin and Smith, Paul Verity (2004) Keepsake [Welsh: Cofiwch]. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Shore, Tim and Hattosh-Nemeth, Jeremy and Dupras, Martin and Smith, Paul Verity

Keepsake was commissioned by Channel 4 Wales as short animated film (4 minutes, 34 seconds) and first broadcast on 2nd May 2004.

Keepsake (also known as Cofiwch in Welsh) was created to evoke a strong emotional response to a particular tract of land and its history through the use of objects and sound without reliance on narrative devices of plot, actor and dialogue and mise-en-scène. The film explores memory and loss but avoids a didactic documentary approach and elides the national protest in the 1970s about the destruction of parts of Wales in the interest of the Midlands. Only the Welsh title, Colfiwch retains a vestigial element of this.

The point of departure for Keepsake was the historic flooding of the Elan Valley in mid-Wales in 1904. This took place in order to supply water to a Birmingham that was suffering epidemics of typhoid and cholera. In the process a historic part of Wales was obliterated including three historic country houses, a number of farms, a school, a church and a chapel. The flooding also led to the displacement of over a hundred people.

Archive research was originally conducted in Birmingham and Wales. Keepsake uses selected findings from this initial research including archive footage, maps, engravings, photographs and domestic objects (such as a family bible, lace bonnet and a teacup). Using digital manipulation, the reservoir is ‘drained’ to recreate some sense of what was lost in the flooding.

Words from R. S. Thomas’ Reservoirs are read by Sian Phillips and “Clli laith” is sung by Heather Jones. Music by the Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson also adds to the distinctly watery theme.

Following its initial broadcast on 2nd May 2004 3.30-3.35pm, Keepsake (Cofiwch) was additionally screened on 18th July 2004 9.55-10.00pm and a year later on 2nd November 2005 6.25-6.30pm.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 2 May 2004
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 00:04
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2017 10:58
Item ID: 1406
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1406

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