Highlight Arctic: Muramatsu meets Hutchison

In March, we brought Ideas of North programme to Glasgow – a special screening of Arctic films by one of Scotland’s pioneering female filmmakers Isobel Wylie Hutchison, with newly commissioned live score by composer Atzi Muramatsu.

A true pioneer in every sense of the word, Isobel Wylie Hutchison was an explorer, a poet, a botanist and an all-around badass.  Born in West Lothian in 1889, her travels through Iceland, Greenland and Alaska were accompanied by her camera, with which she made a series of fascinating films, all of which capture the landscape which Hutchison was enthralled by and would continue to return to over several years.

For the screening of ‘Ideas of North’ on 4 March in Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow, three of Hutchison’s short films – Kayak Rolling, The Great Jakobshavn Iceberg Bank and Flowers and Coffee Party at Umanak – were screened, with live accompaniment by Edinburgh-based award-winning composer Atzi Muramatsu. The score was a new commission by Highlight Artic and performed by the composer.

The screening also included Pitaqangittuq, a film made by community-based Igloolik circus and multimedia company, Artcirq. This half-hour work connected Hutchison’s explorations of the 1930s to the present with a personal and deeply-felt meditation on encroaching climate change and its pernicious effects on Arctic communities in 2010, and imaginings of how communities might need to adapt to it in the future.

With thanks to the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for the films of Isobel Wylie Hutchison. Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of BFI’s Film Audience Network.