Hollie McNish is a poet, a performer, and a mother – each of these roles inform her work, the way she approaches her art.
The British artist's latest project, though, seems to go beyond these definitions, with the spoken word artist collaborating with the Metropole Orkest and Jules Buckley.
A Dutch ensemble whose work spans pop, jazz, and classical, the musicians provided a magnificent new setting for some of Hollie's acclaimed words.
New album 'Poetry Versus Orchestra' is out now, and it's a true one-off – a magnificent exploration of the way sound and words can interact.
Clash is able to premiere the new video for 'Mathematics', a piece Hollie McNish wrote to expose the faulty logic used by those who protest against immigration.
Martin Pyper designed the intricate stop motion clip, fresh from working on the album artwork for 'Poetry Versus Orchestra'. He explains:
"The idea of using an icon of an eye seemed relevant to her message and the feeling I got from the music. The eye represents Hollie’s poetry and the way she looks at the world but it also asks us to open our own eyes and see what is happening around us."
"Using icons was a deliberate choice, the prejudice she talks about is often a simplification of complex issues and graphic icons are themselves, also a simplified or even clichéd shape that is used to depict something often much more complex. The icons tell their story in a very basic and direct fashion."
He continues: "The clip was created using a stop-motion technique and was built entirely by hand. The 1,900 stills used to make the film were incredibly labour-intensive to make and the whole process took roughly 200 hours to complete, including making the original artwork, building the set, weaving the wool, photographing the frames and editing the video."
"A minimal amount of retouching was done to stay true to the original idea which was to keep it as simple, real and as handcrafted as possible. The technique with steel pins and string also felt right for this particular album and the personal, direct and unpolished message it brings."
It's a hugely powerful piece – tune in below.
Catch Hollie McNish, the Metropole Orkest and Jules Buckley performing at London's Cadogan Hall on November 23rd.