Ryde Queen (digital film 3”2’)

Clayden Gallery

Quarr Abbey

Ryde Queen shows the interior of the 1930’s Paddle Steamer ‘The Ryde’, which is expected to be dismantled from its site in Binfield, Isle of Wight.  The steamer was originally a trip boat which ferried people from the mainland to Ryde pier and later after its de-commission, became a static nightclub venue.  In recent years, there had been many hopes of a sufficient restoration fund, but now it is too late to be saved.  Inside the vessel, despite the interior decay and sensation of a broken spirit there is also a strong presence of happier times with gaiety and energy and some of this essence is captured with the sound overlaid of 1930’s Duke Ellington music, which attempts to evoke an experience of the ship’s more glorious past.

The work can be seen as a twin projection with The Ryde Super 8 film of the exterior:


© Images and text Jan Frith

Filmed during a fine sunny day in September 2007, it celebrates the once glorious presence of this magnificent vessel, captured on a popular film medium of its era.  Movement is on the film medium only through the projector as the film passes through the sprockets, and contrasts with the static shots in the film; the only filmed movement being the water reflections on the hull and grasses moving in the breeze.