The motion-picture element of Bethia uses repurposed archival footage from the British Film Institute and Yorkshire Film Archive to create something new and abstract; the idea of old and new is something that repeats throughout the entire work, both in the visuals and within the music. Visually, the footage of Hull’s former maritime industry (i.e. the old) is being transformed into an exponent of the city’s new industry: creative art. When I started writing Bethia, I did not know exactly what form the abstract visuals would take, but I knew they had to be bold and allow the audience to find their own interpretation of them; so, nearly a year later, it was an awe-inspiring moment to see those visuals beginning to take shape.
I’ve known artist and videographer David Briggs since I was a teenager growing up in Hull: we went to school together and we’d regularly go to each other’s gigs; I recall him ending one of his sets by jumping into the air from atop a bass drum, only to find that he hadn’t factored a low-hanging light fixture into his trajectory. Despite all this time between us, we’ve never worked together professionally until now and I think it would be fair to say that there was some hesitancy between us both when going into this project — work and friendships don’t always mix. But, any concerns that I had vanished as soon as I saw Dave’s first set of sketches for Bethia’s visuals and his own worries disappeared when I presented the first music demo; since that time, our working relationship has continued to strengthen and our creativity has fed off each other and pushed Bethia in a direction that has taken on symbolic importance for us both.
There is little I can say to convey the depth of what Dave has created, so I will leave with you with a few stills from Bethia so you might see his work for yourself.