Angelina Jesson, sometimes the Jesson in Jesson-Hill collaborative duo.
My films seek to create irreverent and surreal interpretations of our physical world centered around peculiar and extraordinary identities.
In recent works, I’ve been most interested in constructing worlds and stories around real protagonists, whose lives feel stranger and more magical than fiction. Blurring distinctions between reality and fantasy is my way of creating in-between states that defy easy categorisation of binary structures which dictate bodies/ identities. The becoming of fiction and reality is often achieved through the use of different methods of film-making and familiar narrative tropes; assembling a hodgepodge of genres and associations ranging from fairy tales, sitcoms, children’s TV shows, musicals and documentary. The films offer bizarre cyclical narratives with inexplicable associations leaking from one scene to the next, revealing the strangeness concealed within ordinary things, environments and events.
The work is always playful and theatrical.
A recurring theme is child’s play. Stories are often framed by chapters or lessons learnt – using a combination of real people and performers. This is reinforced through a slapstick do-it-yourself aesthetic where every-day and domestic objects are repurposed into costumes and sets. Gooey, slimy, gelatinous, edible objects are used as sculptural props within films as a merging of the ordinary and the grotesque.
Although each scene is storyboarded and scripted, the work inspires improvisation. I frame the situation and step away, allowing room for people and scenarios to evolve. The approach is architectural more than directorial. My work is about constructing and amplifying a theatrical world of play around real identities, real stories, real people and real lives.
Central Saint Martins- BA, 2016
Nominated, Mullen Lowe Nova award, 2016
Ogling the Ethnographic: Royal Anthropological Institute, London
Recreative Screening (Under the Same Sun): South London Gallery
OVNi Video Art Festival: Windsor Hotel, Nice
So Many Steps, So Little Time: De Bond, Bruges
Allstar Auction: State of Art, Berlin
'X': Blip Blip Blip, Leeds
Supposition Maybe Conjecture: Milieu, Bern
West Yorkshire Queer Stories, Leeds Museum
Everyman Cinema screening, Leeds
Online Screening (COVID lockdown): Media & Science Museum, Bradford
Leeds Museum x Yorkshire Queer Stories artist residency
Riding West on a Walrus Tail film commission celebrates queerness, chronicling the bizarre in an unabashed pastiche of familiar fairy-tale tropes; reimagining and telling the tales of those who, until now, remained largely unseen, hidden in plain sight. A collision of imagination and history permeates within the film’s stark settings and is brought to life by an array of real-life performers - from West Yorkshire’s only gay choir to its only transgender-owned MOT garage. The work seeks to give queer people the chance to tell their own stories and paints a striking new vision of queer culture in the North.