Guy Sherwin studied painting at Chelsea School of Art in the late 1960s before being drawn to the radical film practice of the London Film-Makers' Co-operative (now LUX) where he taught printing and processing during the mid-'70s. His films investigate fundamental qualities of cinema such as light and time, and often use serial forms or live elements to extend its possibilities. The unique, elusive qualities of analogue film are explored through experiments with sound, image and film in live performance.
Recent works, made in collaboration with artist Lynn Loo, include performances of Live Cinema utilising multiple projectors and optical sound (sounds made from light) in conjunction with improvised music. These have toured to Europe, USA, Asia, and Australia and have often involved collaborations with musicians. See Notes on the Film Performances.
Sherwin's films for single screen have been included in major surveys of artists' film: 'Film as Film' Hayward Gallery 1979, 'Live in Your Head' Whitechapel Gallery 2000, Shoot Shoot Shoot Tate Modern 2002, 'A Century of Artists' Film & Video' Tate Britain 2003/4; also shown on BBC2, Channel 4 and Arte TV France. Recent performances include Performa Biennale, New York 2013; Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Seoul South Korea 2014; ICA London 2014, Latitude Festival Suffolk 2014. His films are in the collections of Tate Gallery, Cinematheque Francaise, BFI London, British Council, National Library of Australia, LightCone Paris, Canyon Cinema San Francisco and the British Artists' Film & Video Study Collection. EYE Institute Amsterdam holds many of the 16mm archive masters.
Solo gallery exhibitions include Movements in Light at Siobhan Davies Studios, London 2011 and Vitrine Atopia Gallery Oslo 2011.
Sherwin was guest curator for Camden Arts Centre of Film in Space, a gallery exhibition of expanded cinema that ran from Dec 2012 to Feb 2013.
The artists' film agency LUX (London) has published three DVD/book collections of his work: Short Film Series 1975-2014 (2014), Messages (2010), Optical Sound Films 1971-2007 (2007). See Tim Cawkwell's reviews of Short Film Series and Optical Sound Films c/w Messages. An illustrated interview with Sherwin about his image/sound work was made this year for the website Screamstation. Several articles on Sherwin's work have recently been published in Spanish in the journal Lumiere #7 (2014).
Guy lives in Hackney, London. He also teaches fine art at the University of Wolverhampton and has run classes in artist film production at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Further information on his work is on the Luxonline website and on the Middlesex ADRI website.o
Learning & Teaching Interests
Research Outputs & Interests
FILM IN SPACE
An exhibition of film and expanded cinema curated by Guy Sherwin for Camden Arts Centre London
The following description is from the gallery website:
Film in Space is a group exhibition selected by British artist-filmmaker Guy Sherwin. The exhibition focuses on expanded cinema, a film movement which came to prominence in Britain in the early 1970s, at the time Sherwin started making films. The movement was closely associated with the London Filmmakers' Co-operative, an organisation set up in 1966 by artist-filmmakers to exhibit and produce experimental film work that challenged mainstream cinema. Sherwin worked at the LFMC in its early years and was highly influenced by his experience. For Camden Arts Centre he selected a number of key works from this period and showed them along with works by younger artists who are continuing to experiment with the versatility of analogue media, as well as others who have started to take on board the advent of digital technologies. Throughout the exhibition there is an emphasis on film, light, and sound as material to be constantly re-worked, manipulated and experimented with.
MOVEMENTS IN LIGHT
Solo gallery exhibition by Guy Sherwin at Siobhan Davies Studios, London 2011
The following description is from the gallery website:
Celebrated experimental film artist Guy Sherwin presents a new work filmed at Siobhan Davies Studios, Staircase (2011), alongside older pieces including rarely seen drawings, in the first of a series of new commissions, Animated Environments, which investigate images as still frames of time, within the fields of photography, film and performance. Sherwin has occupied a central position within experimental film culture since the mid 1970s. His works are best characterised by their use of movement and light, both within the films and within the processes he sets up in making them. Guy Sherwin also presents a weekend of installations, talks and performances, 7 - 9 October 2011.
LUX London distributes my film works and has published three DVD/book compilations: Optical Sound Films 1971-2007; Messages 2010; Short Film Series 1975-2013-: http://www.lux.org.uk
My work is in the collection of Tate Gallery UK, the British Council, the Arts Council, the British Film Institute, the National Poetry Library, Cinematheque Francaise and is archived by EYE Institute Amsterdam.
The films are distributed by LUX London, Lightcone Paris, Film-Makers Co-op New York and Canyon Cinema San Francisco.
We have been collaborating on expanded cinema since 2005. Our work foregrounds the act of projection and explores physical connections between sound and image in live performance, using multiple projection, looping and other non-linear techniques.
The work creates a clear distinction from the smooth surface of DV projection and embraces film as material and projection as process - with all the glitchy images and sounds that film produces - the rough edges, mechanical irregularities, crackles, flare-outs. The formal, visual qualities of film interact with 'optical' sounds: graphic sounds drawn by hand, sounds made with a cine-camera, or sounds from photo-sensitive microphones that capture the fluctuations of light in the projector beam.