Emma Alonze


Jerwood Film Umbrella


‘If you haven’t ever come out as ‘one thing or another’ you can, in theory, continue to be everything, or nothing, into an indefinite point in the future’.

Scarborough is my home town. It sits on the East coast below Whitby and above Hull. It is splitting apart, literally, falling into the sea.

‘Dithering and hovering’ is what it does, it is on the edge, ‘off and on’. A town that is seasonal, it only functions half of the time, the rest it goes to sleep.

I like to describe the place as a bungee or a sticky magnet - something you try and push away from but at the same time you are always drawn back to. When I am there I want to leave and when I am away I want to be there.
(Cycles and repetitive motions).
(Wanting the opposite to what we have).

It is a place that is ‘itching to define itself differently’, naturally, always in transition but also somehow pushed into being new. I see it as a place that doesn’t really know or understand what it is. For example, there used to be an old venue on the North side of the Marine Drive called ‘The Corner Café’ (I went on stage with the Chuckle Brothers there but that’s another story). It was demolished to make way for a block of holiday flats that became a death trap to migrating birds. The wall was white so, at times, would be the same colour as the sky. The new building stood in their flight path to the North Sea. The birds thought it was the horizon.

To me the horizon is an indefinite point in the future, in more than one sense of the term. I have lost count of how many times I’ve stood and stared at the horizon and thought – What is beyond there? Does it ever end?

My great-aunt died in the North Sea. She just kept on walking until the tide took her away. She disappeared.

One day a similar thing will happen to Scarborough, it will not exist anymore, the sea will just swallow it whole.

I would like to make a film about some of the areas for exploration I have mentioned in my artist’s statement: a film about disappearance, a film about something you can’t quite put your finger on. It’s there and then it’s gone.

I don’t feel I am in a place at the moment where I can solidly define what my proposal is. This is a response to the given brief and I can say it will begin here but I cannot say where it will end.

Like water, impossible to tie up.