- René Daumal’S MOUNT ANALOGUE
- Michel Foucault’s OF OTHER SPACES: UTOPIAS AND HETEROTOPIAS
- Sound theory (Michel Chion, Lawrence English, et. al)
- Expanded Cinema (Gene Youngblood, Jonathan Walley, Tacita Dean, Bill Morrison et. al)
- Aristotle’s Poetics
- Literary motifs, poetry and fiction
- The sublime
- Romantic conceptualism
- Feminist Gothic
- Tropical Gothic
- Theseus’ Ship and sisyphean processes
- Theatricality of the gaze manifest as myth and construct
- Nature culture symbiosis and humanity as it meets environments (Donna Haraway, Val Plumwood, Process Cinema)
- Derrida and the decentred periphery
“Woodnutt’s cinema, however, has increasingly treated this dark ambiance as a substance rather than a shadow zone.” -Edward Colless
FROM ITALO CALVINO’S INVISIBLE CITIES:
Trading Cities 4
In Ersilia, to establish the relationships that sustain the city's life, the inhabitants stretch strings from the corners of the houses, white or black or gray or black-and-white according to whether they mark a relationdhip of blood, of trade, authority, agency. When the strings become so numerous that you can no longer pass among them, the inhabitants leave: the houses are dismantled; only the strings and their supports remain.
From a mountainside, camping with their household goods, Ersilia's refugees look at the labyrinth of taut strings and poles that rise in the plain. That is the city of Ersilia still, and they are nothing.
They rebuild Ersilia elsewhere. They weave a similar pattern of strings which they would like to be more complex and at the same time more regular than the other. Then they abandon it and take themselves and their houses still farther away.
Thus, when traveling in the territory of Ersilia, you come upon the ruins of abandoned cities, without the walls which do not last, without the bones of the dead which the wind rolls away: spiderwebs of intricate relationships seeking a form.
Melody Woodnutt is a descendant of the pirate Blackjack Woodnutt, and has rambled around the world before landing in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia in 2018. She spent eight of her formative artistic years living in a remote Icelandic village lusting after extreme nature.
The primary conceptual drive for all artworks rests upon two ideas: landscape as character and the nature-culture symbiosis. This often cross-pollinates internal emotional landscapes with external environmental, cosmic, or socio-political landscapes to create short poetic and personal allegories.
Melody Woodnutt works primarily within the expanded field of 16mm analogue moving image film. Artworks take form as large scale immersive installations, expanded cinema, short 16mm films, or printed photographic film stills. Melody's films are often made from an eco feminist and alchemical feminist position as default (alongside bio-art's concept of “witches in labs”).
With a deep pull towards unknowable realms such as the sea, cosmos, or spectral worlds, alongside explorations in love, intimacy, and poetics; the consequent artworks become romantic and abstracted, much as a poem does in holding myriad meanings. Her most prevalent pursuit of emotional landscapes gravitates toward love, sex, death, and the feminine gothic.
She is currently an exhibiting member of Artist Film Workshop - an ARI and film lab for analogue small gauge film. Biennially, she is the artistic director of international film platform and residency, The Weight of Mountains, which uses film as research in-the-field to explore psycho geographies and connections between humanity and environment over temporal and geographic dis/connects.
Works have been shown with NGV/Melbourne Design Week, PICA (Oregon), Melbourne Fringe (Keynote curated by Emily Sexton and Martyn Coutts) and a variety of film festivals or venues in Melbourne, Brisbane, Dublin, London, as well as across multiple locations in USA, UK, Canada, Iceland, and Morocco. Supported with grants from Arts Queensland, Youth Arts Queensland, Menningarráð Norðurlands Vestra (Iceland), Vaxtarsamnigur Norðurlands Vestra (Iceland), Rannis Innovation+Research Triennial Funding (Iceland), and Kulturkontakt Nord (Baltic/Nordic EU). Alongside positions as Director for Nes Artist Residency (Iceland); Artistic Direction and Regional Development Advisor for Thekkingarsetur Iceland (a research and development organisation under the Icelandic Ministry for Education and Culture); consultant for The Icelandic Textile Center (Iceland), Artistic Director of The Weight of Mountains (global ARI); Co-Director of Exist Live Art and Performance Art Collective (Australia); curator of the Summer We Go Public Festival (Iceland) and Site Exploratory Arts Festival (Iceland).
Melody has also worked with Resartis.org and spoken on panels and conferences regarding remote artist residencies.