Neville Gabie

Afloat – 2013

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AFLOAT is a recently completed film, recorded over 18 months in the remote West Highland community of Coigach. The 27 minute film follows the construction of a St Ayles Skiff and a season of rowing under the banner of Scottish Coastal Rowing. Commissioned by IOTA, the film would not have been possible without the enthusiastic support of the Coigach Community Rowers and the wider community of Achiltibuie.

‘Whilst the boat is central, filming its construction was perhaps an indulgence for thinking about something much more personal. I am fascinated by this tiny community, not all indigenous, or even Scottish, living on the margins between land and sea. I saw a bond there that I envied and was terrified of in equal measure. I encountered my own ghosts and rootlessness starkly reflected in this odd mix of people drawn together in the embrace of a very unique landscape’
Neville Gabie

‘The impacts of AFLOAT can be talked about in different ways; in language of funders as well as in other ways. The genuine affection for Neville that is clear in Coigach is tribute to Neville’s sincerity and integrity as an artist. He has not only produced a fine new piece of work that should especially be seen by every community in transition in the world, but has changed perceptions about contemporary art and artists. One of the lasting impacts is that an entire township has opened up to the difference that contemporary artists and art can make.’
Susan Christie – Independent Curator Producer

When work first began, artist Neville Gabie, Achiltibuie’s first artist in residence, was on hand to record developments. His film, Afloat, however, is no ordinary documentary but a poetic, emotional and visceral reflection on how shared enterprise can construct something stronger than a wooden vessel however robust. Gabie’s film asks what is community? How do we build it and how can it be sustained? From the opening moments of the film when the artist arrives in Coigach by darkness, it also explores what it means to be a newcomer in a rural community. Gabie has been welcomed into the Coigach community but he has an outsider’s insight and apprehension as well as empathy.                           Moira Jeffrey – Critic and Writer

Screenings with Neville Gabie and Moira Jeffery in conversation have included;

  • Achiltibuie Summer isles Festival, Scotland
  • Findhorn Bay Arts Festival, Scotland
  • Anstruther Fisheries Museum, Scotland
  • Floating Cinema, London
  • Kinsale Arts Festival, Ireland

With further dates planned for 2015

Filming – Emma Dove / Neville Gabie
Underwater – Dan Walton / Andy Holbrow
Go-Pro – Anne McGee
Sound and audio editing – Becky Thomson
Editing -Stuart Ward
With thanks to Hunter & The Bear

IOTA – Creative Scotland

A DVD of the film has been published and is available for purchase

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