Glasgow School of Fine Art Sculpture & Environmental Art

Nancy Collins (She/Her)

I am interested in making work in, with and for the natural environment. My practice evolves around responding to sites and situations, where I draw my inspiration directly from the place, site or land. The final outcomes can range from sculpture and photography to installation and films but I always hope to emphasise connection and co-existence to the natural world.

Mapping My Final Year
Install Images
Five Days
Clyde and Kelvin
Supporting films

Part of my practice is about working intuitively in the landscape, creating while I go. Being spontaneous and experimental in the field is key to my development process. The research starts with immersing myself in the environment I wish to know more about and I develop a sense of the place through sketches, photos, videos, and sound pieces.

Recently I have focused on experimental films/videos that explore the colours, textures, and feelings of Scotland’s landscapes. I am interested in how I can use film as a medium to convey the energy and feel of a place to an audience that hasn’t experienced it before. When filming I look for the small movements or moments that create a more personal experience.

My practice also involves experimenting with the interaction between moving images, objects and sculptures. How can spaces be used to change the narrative of the film, or what is the effect of a projected film on a physical space? I aim to reflect my intuitive approach to filmmaking in my installations, which try to convey my personal experience of the natural environment through the viewers interactive journey through the space.

Mapping My Final Year

During the first semester I was experimenting with filmmaking within the context of landscape and place, but I deliberately didn’t restrict myself to one site in Scotland. A major part of my development process has been about letting the atmosphere of each individual place influence the feel of the final film. I wanted to create a piece that encompasses all the different landscapes I’d been filming at and not have to chose just one location.

I was inspired by Ilana Halperin’s hand drawn floor plan on her website, each room becomes a link to a different artwork, to create my own map. My map brings together my experiences this semester through a drawing of Scotland and icons. These icons are links to films, drawings and the pewter sculptures depending on what I created at that site. Up to this point I have looked at this year in terms of broadening my knowledge of filmmaking alongside my understanding of Scotland’s landscapes and I think the map is an effective way of encapsulating this in one realised piece. I want the viewer to be able to explore these places visually and build up their own journey.

Digital sketchbook in the link below (Only works in Chrome)


16mm film, 8mins

‘Kelvin’ tells the story of the river Kelvin, through a focus on the colours, patterns and textures of the water. The aim of the film is to draw the eye to details in the water, using the framing of the camera as a lens, while also exploring the rivers significance in a wider context. Film, in this case 16mm to digital, as a medium has been an effective way to capture the rivers nature. The liner movement of the river is echoed in the liner qualities of a film; just as you never witness a whole river at one time you can never see the completely film at one moment. This is a concept I have been particularly interested in relation to water; there is so much to witness in just one section of a body of water but equally it’s always fascinating to imagine the sections you can’t see. Especially when thinking of rivers where they will flow through various landscapes/cityscapes and will ‘see’ so much on the course of their journey. Alternating between single shots, 4 screen shots and short single frames changes the pace of the film and enhances the different ways we see rivers. The section where 4 shots are compared at the same time remines the viewer of the multiple ways of looking at the river, whereas the fast passed single frames references the quick glances we might get from trains, cars or bikes. A big part of my project and intention in making work is to give a voice to these natural elements that are often overlooked or underappreciated. I have tried to reflect this in the name by keeping it  as something that could be perceived as a human name. I like that the viewer might make assumptions about the film based on the name but the subject matter will surprise them and serves as a reminder of how rivers are just as alive as humans. The sound for this film has been taken from various points along the river (but recorded separately) and I have incorporated more human or man-made sounds as a subtle layer under that noise of the water, especially where the river flows through Glasgow. This references back to how we, as humans, see the river. For example I explored a lot on my bike so have included the sound of me cycling as a way to bring that context back in. This way of applying the sound after has given me more flexibility with which sound goes with which image and has allowed me to play with ideas about how a sound can change how the visual image is perceived

Install Images

Projection of ‘Kelvin’ for the Alternative Degree Show

Five Days

Super 8, 6mins 42sec

Durational project at Kelvin River. This film is a continuation of my research into the many different forms one body of water takes.

For this film I wanted to further explore the concept of durational filming. I returned to the same spot on the Kelvin River over 5 consecutive days at the same time, around 2pm. I am fascinated by the different forms one section of water can take. I find it interesting to observe how weather and time effect the movement, patterns and textures of the water. This project is inspired by the quote (from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus) ; 'no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.' The world is constantly changing and no situation is ever exactly the same. For this film I can control certain aspects like the time I chose to film or location but I will never find the same river I did yesterday. I wanted this film to reflect the inconsistencies in my behaviour as a filmmaker, as well as the constant changes in the environment.

Clyde and Kelvin

Super 8, 5mins 52secs

Visual exploration of the River Clyde and the River Kelvin. I wanted to tell the story of each river through an abstract collection of patterns, movements and textures.

I have used the same footage from 'Five Days' and 'Along the Clyde' but have re edited them in a split screen version. The Kelvin River is a tributary of the Clyde and I wanted to make a film that highlighted their similarities as well as their differences. The concept of each individual film is very different but there are shots in each that worked nicely in conjunction with each other. Again this re editing changes the narrative of the film, it becomes much more about comparison between the rivers. The rhythm of the film is dictated by the flow between images and the breaking up of separate shots.

Supporting films

I have tried to take a hands on, practical approach to filmmaking; creating as much as possible and experimenting with different cameras, techniques and editing styles. My ideas around composition, narrative and imagery have developed through this experimental process.

A Bit of a Blur

Out of focus and blurry but still beautiful and intriguing.

Water, Water and more Water

In this film I am continuing my research and development around the subject of water. Not bound to a specific place this film simply captures random moments and movements that caught my attention. I often work in this spontaneous way, never completely planning what my next shot will be but letting the environment guide the film’s development. This film aims to emphasise the range of colours, textures and forms found in water.

Snow in Kelvingrove

My first Super 8 film. Exploring the light and textures around Kelvingrove Park

A Different Edit

Using footage from 'Five Days'. It is interesting to edit the same footage in different ways; playing with composition and narrative, as well as getting multiple viewpoints on how the film could exist. It has been an important part of my film development to experiment with my editing and challenge my own ideas about how a film should look.