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The Scared and the Profane (John Price)

A few years ago I was asked to shoot parts of a documentary about an art studio in Cape Dorset – a remote fly-in community in the Canadian Arctic. The footage for The Sacred and the Profane (parts 1-4) was recorded essentially as “b-roll” – scene transitions and cut aways to illustrate voice over.  Representing life, landscape and light in front of the camera however resonated something much deeper than the project of filling holes. Through the 24 hour sunlight / darkness there was a lot to witness and I tried to create openness by recording longer moments… tried to reveal something specific about the present there… geographically isolated… virtually connected… emerging yet still deeply burdened by colonialism…

In the end that documentary did not dwell on the wider context. It was a historical account and celebration of a fine art print studio and it’s positive economic impact on the community. Very little of this footage made the cut. In the end the producer has generously permitted me to re-imagine the material. Without a voice-over (or broadcast license) it offers a glimpse… a series of observations that invite meditation.