FOLK FAE LITHGAE M
arjory Boyle-Crooks is a career artist with a background in drawing, painting, commercial design and digital media and this feature is about two ongoing projects.
The first project features films of eight storytellers including the Storyteller Laureate Taffy Thomas from Grasmere and Scottish children’s writer and storyteller Lari Don. The exhibition at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh runs from 20 July to 3 September where the films will be shown along with the illustrated portraits that go with them.
What got you interested in making films?
I was in the same art class as Michael Caton Jones, who directed Scandal, Rob Roy, Memphis Belle and some of the Spooks series on the BBC. As he went off to London, I was encouraged by my tutor to do painting in Edinburgh, but since that point I’ve always considered film as an option.
Can’t anyone with a smartphone and a YouTube channel be a “film-maker” these days?
Yes, although it depends on what you want to achieve. I do have a friend who took a clip of the Pandas at Edinburgh Zoo, posted it on YouTube and got 600 hits in just a few days. I am focussed on wanting to make films to the highest level of my ability.
My subject focus is on the performers, on creatives who write/perform their own work. I think music is well covered, but for me the poets and the storytellers are under- represented.
And does film-making help develop other skills?
Of course. You develop a sense of timing, awareness of lighting, visual composition skills, you build interaction and engagement with the audience and you really hone your ability to listen.
Why video the storytelling? Wouldn’t audio or radio be better?
Well, I’m a very visual person. Traditionally, you would have seen the storyteller, from passing minstrels in a town centre to your gran sitting by the fire. The eyes, the hands, movement of the mouth, some storytellers have a really dramatic delivery style so I wanted to capture all of that.
Marjory’s second project partners the Edinburgh one, drawing on storytellers within Linlithgow. So far Marjory has lined up a number of storytellers (including Bruce Jamieson, Ewan McVicar and Young Sandie Bain) who will be sharing some great stories (Palace Faerie cake, Linlithgow Grammar school fire and a Katie Wearie tale).
We’re particularly excited by this project because the Black Bitch Magazine is getting access to the insider’s view and will be running a regular feature in support of the project.
Why is it important to you to go ahead with a Linlithgow project?
My father came from Livingston Station, which did have heritage stories, though these are mostly lost now. Having moved to Linlithgow in 2005 I immediately recognised the heritage here which is really valuable and I don’t want it to be lost too. Add to that, kids these days are swamped with data and information, so I wanted to offer up what I value
and for me, trans-media storytelling is the right vehicle to do so. By the way, I want Linlithgow to have this content for its own heritage, to keep and share with residents and visitors over the coming years.
Sounds good. So when and where can we expect to see these films and portraits?
Well, great question. Does anyone reading this have a venue in Linlithgow I could use as I’m struggling with that? I’d love to have this done in time for the Marches but with the venue issue it’s more likely to be an autumn exhibition. Watch this space.
Apart from film-making, what else keeps you busy?
Portraiture. There are so many photographs out there now, yet there is something personal about sitting with a subject and crafting a portrait of them adds something extra. I think there is a resurgence and a growing interest in this too.
From the next edition of Black Bitch Magazine to the end of the year we will be running a regular column featuring stories / storytellers from the Linlithgow project and previews of the videos and portraits will be shared on our Facebook page. If you’re interested in seeing more of Marjory’s work, her YouTube channel can be found under “marjoryboylecrooks”.
Finally, if you know of any potential stories or story- tellers, or indeed can help with Marjory’s quest for a Linlithgow venue to exhibit her Linlithgow storytellers work, do drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Welch Photographs Jon Lee
twitter | theblackbitch.co.uk
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24