A work-in-progress short film about Hollingbury Hill during lockdown exploring greenspace and mental health, pandemic exploration, and new use of local landscapes.
The film was shot during daily walks in lockdown in the spring of 2020.
Hollingbury Hill, including Hollingbury Park Golf Course, the hillfort and Wildpark is one of the largest Estate Downland greenspaces within the city of Brighton and Hove. During lockdowns, when golf ceased to be played, the area became a haven for the communities who live next to it. More than a hundred people an hour were counted enjoying the Hill, many for the first time.
A year before the pandemic, the lease on the council owned land, against much local opposition, was granted once again to a private golf and leisure company, who, after lockdown, blocked desire-ways to corral walking on the Hill.
But, once experienced, freedom of the Hill is difficult to put back in the box.
Henson explores how walking gives rise to altered states of attention. Using animation and moving image, she makes work about experiences of specific locations, showing the work immersively in situ, or in a way that involves the viewer’s physicality. With creative technologist Neil Manuell she invents lo-fi devices and ways of using AR and VR to create experiences that build on, rather than disrupt, the perceptive ‘flow’ of walking.
Outshift has been commissioned by festivals in the UK and abroad, and for natural and heritage organisations. Several projects have involved working with communities to communicate experiences of particular locations.