©2015 Louis-Jack Horton-Stephens

19th Art Division New Face Award

Gill & Gill

Video work

Louis-Jack HORTON-STEPHENS [United Kingdom]


Gill & Gill is both a visual essay and a visceral poem; a celebration and an exploration of humanity’s relationship with stone. It compares two masters of the material: one of rock climbing, the other of letter carving. Eric GILL and John GILL were the respective fathers of modern letter carving and bouldering. One shaped, the other scaled, but why did stone speak to them? To answer, this film follows their 21st century successors: Richard KINDERSLEY (world-renowned letter carver) and Lucy CREAMER (Britain’s greatest female climber).
Outside, CREAMER boulders – a lone figure battling brutal landscapes. Inside, KINDERSLEY carves – shaping and re-shaping in the hushed intensity of his studio. Yet these contrasting crafts yield surprisingly similar skills. As chisels cut stone, and hands clasp crags, both carver and climber shape, question and solve.

Reason for Award

This excellent work quickly dispelled the jurys’ reservations that the unusually large number of “film” submissions might transform the Japan Media Arts Festival into a film festival. The short work was the only one of 681 films submitted to receive an award. It focuses on two people who are renowned for their outstanding skills – one is a world- renowned letter carver, and the other a female rock climber. Based on the theme of “stone”, which is closely related to human history, the film interweaves images into a kind of visual essay. Captured from carefully thought-out angles, the images are effectively edited and along with the deeply resonant narration, form a profound work. (UEMATSU Yuka)