INTERVIEW: Georgia Bates | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Georgia Bates (left) with Katie Bell, part of the production team

Having discovered a love for storytelling and landscapes through a residency in Iceland, Northumbria University graduate Georgia Bates debuts her new short film, Mother of the Mountain, at Tyneside Cinema on Friday 8th February as part of their Graduate Artist Residency programme.

Originally a fine art student, Georgia was encouraged to expand her practices to include film and performance. “The tutors really encouraged me to try new techniques and push my boundaries. To be thrown into an organisation that is all film based was a huge eye opener.”

Mother of the Mountain features stories of local women’s experiences with motherhood, from the heart-rending emotion of losing a child to the everyday wonders of parenthood, utilising the rolling hills of the Northumbrian landscape as a backdrop to first-hand interviews. Georgia was first inspired by working with a local community in Skagaströnd in Northern Iceland, where she was documenting the NES artist residency. “The participants were mainly women and because the community was so rural and small, families would often come together. These women inspired me because of their ethos for family and how their culture is embedded through the harsh but beautiful environment they live in.”

Having been brought up in an all-female household herself, Georgia was moved to work with mothers in the North East and look at how the local landscape reflects them. “It was important that the environment being filmed was stripped back and rural because that’s what motherhood is; it’s back to the basics.” She explains. “This is why the Northumberland landscape was used to help enforce the stories from the women. The mountain range just reflected so much of what the women were saying, helping you to see what you’re hearing, and hear what you are seeing. The mountain range is rural and harsh but you can learn to live within it and eventually your eyes will open to beauty and strength that surrounds you. This is like motherhood; it is hard and sometimes as children we struggle to understand the decisions that are made, but we learn and we grow from this.”


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