Maddy Scott-Berry

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My practice is influenced by my personal memories of water: born into it, drowning in it and surviving; training in it, competing, and lifeguarding. I’ve created video installations that depict filmic portraits, piecing together the ethnography of place, self and intimate experience. 

Employing the tactics of Lauren Elkin’s ‘flâneuse’, characterised by the subversive and practical actions taken by women who walk through and turn to one’s environment, I have ritualistically been drawn to filming bodies of water that are significant to me.


Using ‘walking as a process’ I have habitually recorded the painterly shimmers of surfaces of water at Gosford House, capturing reflections of subtle and fleeting gestures in nature. Practising filmmaker Margaret Tait’s approach of ‘breathing with the camera’, which gives rhythm to the filming and editing, my work encourages audiences to watch slowly and meditatively. 

Exploring my memories of water I filmed in the pool where I was taught to swim and my mum teaches The Bridge Leisure Centre. The footage fluctuates between surface levels, contrasting the rigorous movements of swimming strokes with the psychological interior space underwater. I explored ‘water as treatment’ at Brockwell Lido, recording the surrounding swells of the urban environment above water, and then submerging beneath, into the evocative womb-like soundscape of the icy water. Discovering 8mm family footage of Stonehaven Open Air Pool in Aberdeen, taken by my great grandparents, I delved into my family’s affinity with water and reached out to the community at Stonehaven. 

Titled, ’Bodies of Water’, this series is an ode to the memories water evokes. In continuing this project my aim is to allow space for family members and communities to narrate their stories of water, which are often shared and recognisable. 

My work is ultimately, then, about the interrelations that connect us, like bodies of water. 

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