by Tim MacMillan

image of a rough sea hitting against rocks, bits of water and see are spashing up infont of the camera


  • 1Still from Island
  • 2Production shot from Island

Still from Island


Where Macmillan's method is somewhere between film and still photography, Island exists between painting and film, incorporating the idea of multiple viewpoints with the passage of time.

Installed on a rocky outcrop of Lundy Island's shore, the 120-lens camera recorded the coming and going of the tide over the course of a day. The ever-moving, ever-changing sea is caught for moments of eternity. A wave is caught circling a rock, and we are caught circling the wave, before it dissolves into a later wave. The hypnotic sound of the breaking waves forms the soundtrack of this work, continuous even as the sea is frozen.

The artist devised contemporary photographic and digital techniques to portray a day cycle on Lundy encapsulated in a 15 minute film sequence. Island was made using the groundbreaking technique of timeslice photography and was shot on Lundy in May 2000 using a camera called The Josephine Rig, a five metre long construction hand built by the artist. The rig was installed for 72 hours at the Devil's Cauldron high up on scaffolding in the most ambitious shoot the artist has ever undertaken. The camera takes 35 mm motion image film and produces a 90 degree circular tracking shot. The artist says "If Muybridge had set all of his cameras off at once, he would have shot the first time-slice image. Historically, the movie camera had it's origins with Fox Talbot, then Muybridge, Frieze-Green, the Lumieres and Edison; but they were all attempting to describe action, rather than inaction and space within a frozen moment."



Year 2000
Duration 15 minutes
Original format
Screening format
Aspect ratio
Audio Yes
Colour / B&W Colour
Screens 1


Realised with support from the South West Media Development Agency, Year of the Artist, South West Arts, Kodak and HTV.

Screening history:

09 July to 26 July 2000
Old Lighthouse, Lundy Island, UK

13 January - 17 February 2001
Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, UK

10 April - 31 June 2001
Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock, UK

Related Items:

Tim Macmillan

Tim Macmillan's practice encompasses photography, film installation and television production. Picture This worked with Tim Macmillan to develop the