When strange creatures are witnessed in the estuary mud at low tide the landscape begins to shift. Set in the netherworld of the Thames Estuary, this new work by Eelyn Lee evokes a creature made of fragments of memory and fear. Like Frankenstein’s monster the film is made of parts. Episodic in form it is part testament; part fantasy and part requiem for the memories of a place.
Using verbatim extracts from conversations recorded with residents along the Thames Estuary, Eelyn has created a poetic script narrated by a fictional coastguard, exploring themes of displacement, migration and change.
Developed though a series of residencies with Metal, an arts lab in Southend-on-Sea, Creature of the Estuary marks the second iteration of the Monster Trilogy, Eelyn’s ongoing exploration of monsters and fear through collaborative and improvised film-making. Made during the summer of 2016 in locations along the South Essex banks of the Thames, Eelyn devised this film though a series of labs and conversations with actors, musicians and local residents.
During the development process Eelyn ran a number of Fear Labs whereby participants turned stories of fear in to monsters using specially designed props by Art Director Christopher Kelly.
Watch a scene from the film below.
Creature of the Estuary was presented by film curator Gareth Evans [Whitechapel Gallery] as part of Estuary 2016 at an outdoor screening at Coalhouse Fort before it's London premiere at Whitechapel Gallery on 23rd Feb 2017.
In December 2016 the film was shown at Focal Point Gallery, Southend alongside Monster, marking the first ever double bill screening of the first two iterations of the Trilogy.
Featuring BAFTA-winning actress Anamaria Marinca
Visit the project blog here.
Read a critical evaluation of the film and the wider project by Dr R.M. Sánchez-Camus here.