Home Video 1 & 2: Home and Away, 2006, UK
Growing up in the UK in the 1980's, I often used to watch the popular Australian soap operas, Neighbours and Home and Away on the TV at tea time. A decade or two down the line, I decided to re-play those (tea) times casting my parents and I as the singers of soap opera. Gazing directly into each other's eyes, my parents and I sing the theme tune, claiming the words and meanings for ourselves. Between England and Australia, between parent and child, between life and death there are yearnings, yearnings for that old belonging; oh the years, the miles between us.
Home Video 3: Gardener's World, 2006, UK
I watch my dad mowing the lawn from the bedroom window. His movement is strategic and persistent, it has rhythm. The yellow wire is a kind of play thing that mustn't get caught underneath. It travels with him and together they dance their 'routine' perfected over decades.
Home Video 4: The Changing of the Guards, 2007, UK
My family perform our own version of the traditionally British 'Changing of the Guards' ceremony outside our semi-detached house in Lancashire. This ceremony is usually performed by the highest ranking members of the British army as guardians of the Royal residence: Buckingham Palace in London. In doing so we make a claim for the recognition of the 'common' household of the citizen as part of a wider national heritage, each with a legacy of its own.
We are nervous and some of us more than slightly embarrassed. Understandably. The neighbours are watching. The local children are playing out and we don't really want to make a spectacle of ourselves, at least not here. The piece is not choreographed. The only rule is that during the change-over my brother and I should touch the hand of our parents to symbolize the handing over of the keys to the residence.
The props (flag and horse) were made by my mother and I for the occasion. The flag depicts an old family photograph taken in the living room of this house about 15 years ago.
Home Video 5: See-Saw, 2007, UK
A ride on a see-saw is a game of weight and balance between two people in gravitational flux. One rider begins by pushing off the ground with their feet. From then on the weight of each body becomes a potential force; a source of energy and momentum. One at a time the riders send each other up into the air and back down to earth, playing their weight in turns along a single beam of wood or metal.
In this video my parents and I take turns at playing our own weight against gravity and being moved by the weight of each other.
Home Video 6: Family Name, 2007, UK
My mum, my dad, my brother and I each write our own name on a single piece of paper. We lean on the desk in my mum's home office that used to be my brother's room before he left home. The writing of one's own name is performed perhaps thousands of times during one's lifetime. I simply wanted to document the four of us performing this task together, to record the way our hands move and the way we make the name 'Rowles' our own. At 10% of the original speed, the action becomes weightier and takes on an air of finality. There appears to be a mixture of confidence and hesitation in the performance of this task.
Home Video 7: Reunion, 2009, UK
I asked my parents (married 37 years) to imagine that they have not seen each other for a very long time. In this video they perform how it would be to have a long-awaited reunion. Filmed on location at Cuerden Valley, Lancashire.
Home Video 8: My Wonderland, 2010. UK
In an attempt to break down and re-interpret the word 'household', I began to play with new ways of filming my family's house and myself. I wanted to re-present the personal relationship between the house and its dweller in a way that brings a sense of wonder to something very ordinary. This is the house in which I grew up, and as such it holds a lot of memories. I wanted to bring a sense of adventure and guardianship to my 'homeland', as if my house were a ship on the high seas and I were its figurehead.
In this video my father directs me as I play a giant girl curious about this tiny building and the people living inside.
"Kate Rowles' film 'My Wonderland' draws a surreal insight into the intimacy and humour of a familial suburban wonderland. With a simple framework and perfect timing, 'My Wonderland' introduces Kate as an exciting, emerging artist who we look forward to seeing more from!"
-Rosie Crerar, The Magic Lantern, Glasgow Short Film Festival
Home Video 9: My Dad the Fisherman, 2010, UK
My Dad has always been a fisherman ever since I can remember. One day I went fishing with him and observed the skill and technique he has acquired over the years. What struck me most was the preparation he puts into each fishing trip and the time he spends setting up his pitch, which is something to behold.
In this video I follow my dad as he arranges all his peculiar objects each with a very specific role to play in the art of catching a fish. Accompanied by an audio interview of my dad talking about his early fishing experiences as a boy, and why he still loves the sport to this day.
Home Video 10: Oh Black Hole (the look, the wait, my fear), 2011, UK
A meditation on disappearance: I asked my parents to look into the black hole inside the camera, the hole that records their image and takes it out of time.
Home Video 11: Battle for Stardom, 2011, UK
My mother and I compete for the camera's affection.
If you would like to watch any of these works in full, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org