Erin Newell

Letters from Frank: fff (fatima freedom fighters, not found family footage)

Artist Statement

I have an archive of old family footage of documentation by my maternal grandfather moving the family back and forth across the Atlantic since the early 1950s (USA – Ireland), which consists of 100s of reels of standard-8mm film and thousands of 35mm slides. I keep records, or lists of things that “stand out” to me when I transfer them from analogue to digital, as I often use pieces of the material in artworks. For this work I made an edit of fragments of landscape. Some images are clearly America, while others can be identified as Ireland. Mostly it’s impossible to tell from which places these images originated, but I am interested in the apparent differences, similarities and ambiguities it presents putting them side by side, as if this could represent my dual nationality. I overlaid a recording of my reading of the list of the stand-out moments, and again at times the sound appears connected to the imagery, other times displaced, created a new reconstructed narrative.

Letters from Frank: fff (fatima freedom fighters, not found family footage) CLIP from erin newell on Vimeo.


I am an Irish-American artist, living and working in London. I have a MA in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art, London and I’ve been exhibiting my work for the last six years locally and internationally. My practice revolves around a multitude of media, but its core is video, as it’s the one medium that engages all of my senses. I use my personal experience as content, and languages of observation, exploring the nature, impact and nuances of memory. These  moments of recollection are always in direct relationship to a place–a landscape, or rather to “the land.” I’m fascinated with a person’s psychological attachment to homeland, I’m sure this originates from my upbringing as a first generation Irish-American–daughter of an Irish Nationalist. I am interested in the politics of territory, the borders that confine or define it, and the personal experiences that exist within it–how being from some place influences our perception of others, even the image of our self.