The Green and Pleasant Land

by Max Colson

24 November – 21 December 2017


arebyte Gallery is pleased to announce The Green and Pleasant Land, a new animated short film by the artist Max Colson.

Taking as its subject our different perceptions of the British landscape, the film is a roaming exploration of our national identity and collective history. Using a 3D model of the United Kingdom, a variety of visual scenarios – poignant, nostalgic and absurd - are enacted using a ‘live’ animation technique. These scenes draw directly on user comments found below the line of videos and online newspaper articles concerning the English and British countryside.

What emerges is a meditation on the British landscape – both as an imaginary vision and as a new world digitally constructed. Colson’s animation practice draws mainly on his concurrent interests in digital architectural visualisation, landscape planning and video game walkthroughs. The latter is a popular genre of YouTube film making in which one user walks through the completion of a video game, identifying hidden obstacles and tricks, to help other users do the same. Colson’s video work increasingly draws on the techniques found in these online videos to show the construction of specific architectures and landscapes, while exploring the speculative viewpoints of the ‘users’ who inhabit these spaces.

The Green and Pleasant Land is the outcome of Colson’s residency period at the gallery earlier this year. During his residency, Colson started by investigating how architecture, urban planning, and real estate developments operate peripherally and within cities, and how they will influence social relations and the environment in post-Brexit Britain. The exhibition ultimately questions place and identity; The Green and Pleasant Land is a site where opinion, memory, history and highly charged emotion are given form, and are opened up for discussion and critique.

Max Colson is a London based artist using 3D animated film and photography to explore extraordinary narratives concerning architecture and landscape. His film Construction Lines was the winner of the Fiction Short category at this year’s Architecture Film Festival in London and is the winner of 2017's Tenderflix international film and video competition, organised by Tenderpixel. His films have been selected to screen in a variety of film festivals including Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam, Milano Film Festival and Kassel Dokfest (all 2017). His first solo exhibition was hosted at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London (2015). He has also exhibited his work in shows across Europe including Showroom MAMA in Rotterdam (2016), Noorderlicht Photogallery in Groningen (2015), and C/O Berlin (2014). His work has been featured in a broad range of publications across architecture, design and photography, including Icon (2015), Architecture Today (2015) and Vice (2016). He teaches on the MA Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins in London and is a graduate of the London College of Communication’s MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.