Anne-Marie McKee Intro | THIN PLACES














Hi! Anne-Marie here,

I am using video to explore the metaphor of THIN PLACES.


THIN PLACES have long been investigated by artists and philosophers as a way of connecting our geography, psychogeography and earth spirituality at certain loci.

Thin places refer to areas where there is a connection to another plane or an altered sense of reality.

For some people, Thin places are liminal spaces found on the tops of mountains; for some, it is on or in the sea; or stone circles; for some it is working with horses.

For me, Thin places occur around the gaps in the hedgerows, some fields, shores and hills that I walk along every day in Donegal.

Nothing much moves in my videos, they are about the act of looking and being present. They are also starting to ask questions about embodiment in the environment.

I have long been interested in landscape, I trained as a botanist and worked for many years as a free lance ecologist in Ireland. I mapped upland bog and heath communities for habitat and wildlife protection. And the botanical training and interest pours through my work still.

When recording my videos, it is a struggle to keep still, and to keep looking.

In a way, I am fighting an impulse to describe, classify what I see, to tick off plants. To put order on what is around me.

Indeed, often there are no plants in the videos.

I take videos of the dump; a broken eviscerated silver transit van; a radio playing in a shed at dawn; swallows gathering on phone wires; a gap in commercial forestry plantations. Recording off moments, the gaps around us.

Some of these videos are here

I get distracted easily, and the videos are short.

I had a great tutor at art school who said that folk can over intellectualise their work when they are scared of the emotion involved.

And I guess I AM scared… scared by a future of climate breakdown and habitat loss.

And so I am diving into the metaphor of Thin Places to ask questions about where we are now. And looking, witnessing and recording.

In the next blog, I will share some of the writers and artists that feed into this work.

Anne-Marie McKee