Utopia Portals (2022, single channel, 2D drawn animation and phone footage)
Utopia Portals was commisioned by Focal Point Gallery for Big Screen Southend. Awarded through a call for submissions in 2020, Utopia Portals launched on 19 February and continued until June 12th 2022, playing on a loop outside the gallery.
In response to Utopia Portals, artists Beverley Bennett, Khaleb Brooks and Richard Phoenix have collaborated with Ashman to create a soundscape that reacts to the themes, emotions and energy presented in this new moving image commission. The artists worked in a ‘call and response’ way, recording elements of music and poetry, sending them to each other and responding accordingly. This compliments the method that Ashman used to make ‘Utopia Portals’, which was created from an amalgamation of field recordings, mobile phone footage and animation filmed during her time visiting her ancestral motherland of Jamaica for the first time.
Production: Jessica Ashman and Richard Phoenix
Guitar, vocals and sound design: Jessica Ashman
Spoken Word: Beverley Bennett and Khaleb Brooks
Bass and drums: Richard Phoenix
Steel Pan: Beverley Bennett