> Insular

Tim Bowditch and Nick Rochowski / Insular


Artist Statement

Insular is a new project that incorporates photographs, video and sound. We have worked with Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau to create the audio element. It currently exists as a web-based experience at www.insular.org.uk.

We have been collaborating on projects and publications since early 2012. Our collaborative practice is concerned with observations of built and natural environments, the subtle effects on the communities that inhabit and traverse them and the vernacular ephemera that populate them.

Veering away from a typical documentary approach, these observations are further explored, isolated, fictionalised and abstracted. We also collaborate with other artists to incorporate sound, writing and drawings and in combining what we find, hope to heighten the reality observed with an evolving visual language.

In Insular we visited the island of Sark and its Ramsar cave sites, exposed cliffs, steep woodlands and farmland that are inhabited by a small community. The omni-present ocean encapsulates a raw, sparsely occupied landscape, providing a gateway to explore wider thoughts on our notions of existence and island-utopia. The repetitive cycles of island living and anxieties related to such isolation are represented through short loops of video and pulsating audio loops as well as repeated motifs within still imagery.

We are interested in the subtle and often mythical, or science fiction-like, connotations of island culture and look at their relationships with the rocky landscape, vegetation and influence of the surrounding sea. The island of Sark is unique in that it is the only certified Dark Sky Island that is populated, and this brings with it a seasonal population flux. The project thus focuses on the out-of-season periods so that the many realities are exposed and not masked by the fervour of tourism.

The work is influenced by its location but does not seek to explicitly document it; instead opting to represent the underlying feelings of such environments, drawing on themes of routine, the nocturnal and isolation.

In earlier work, Hind Land, we used specialist infrared and UV camera equipment to shoot a study on the hidden underpasses of the M25 motorway that run along public paths and rivers. In both projects we combine the visual recordings with either manipulated field recordings or sounds associated with the themes.

Since we started working together we have consistently progressed ideas on installation as a key aspect of our work. From room-scale immersive projections and large wall prints to internet-based installations, we have developed work that creates different types of audience experiences using visual and audio source material.

[Still images are presented from Insular, at right, and an embedded version of the full website can be seen below. Please click ‘Play’ and use arrows to navigate the site]



Nick Rochowski (b.1981 High Wycombe, Bucks) is a London based photographer. He studied at the London College of Printing between 2000 and 2004. His artistic practice involves extensive explorative research and observations of historical changing landscapes, the built environment and staged interior spaces. In 2011 he established Rokov Publishing, an independent creative platform publishing limited edition cross-disciplinary collaborative projects. Along side this he shoots commissions for clients in the creative, cultural and design industries.

Tim Bowditch (b.1986 Guernsey, Channel Islands, BA Photography Portsmouth University) is a photographer and filmmaker living and working in London. His practice stems from documentary roots and observations of the communities and environments he inhabits. These observations are further explored, exaggerated, abstracted and fictionalised through collaborations with writers, artists and sound recordists. This work has culminated over the years in the form of ambitious three-year community based projects, outdoor poolside screenings, installations, publications and exhibitions.