HD video, 19 minutes


Grief is a Shapeshifter takes as its starting point a text of the same name, written by artist Priya Jay about her experiences of leading online grief circles during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The text, re-edited for the film, explores forms of collective grief. Paralleling these experiences with the movements of a large starling murmuration in northern Britain, the film draws lines outward from human experience into the more-than-human landscape, to consider also planetary grief in response to the destruction we continue to wreak on our environment.

The film also includes an organ drone soundtrack, recorded for the film by experimental musician Anna Peaker. The work can be shown as a stand alone piece in a showreel or installed in a space (ideally a church or cavernous space with echoing acoustics).

An alternative live score was performed by 7 vocalists and an accordionist for Flatpack Festival 2023. This version uses the text as a starting point for a semi-improvised vocal score influenced by the form of Hebridean psalm signing and the grief tradition of keening.

Both versions of the film can be seen by contacting info@iannesbitt.co.uk