A close up photograph of a hand holding a small brown crab.
A photograph of a mans face and torso running in a yellow tracksuit jacket. The man is looking to the right and behind him is blue toned hills.

Frances Scott / Diviner

Opening Wednesady 20 June 6-8pm

21 June - 22 July 2018

Wed - Sun 12 - 5pm

In conversation with Frances Scott, Chu-Li Shewring and Karen Di Franco

Tue 17 July 2018 7-9pm

A black and white photograph of a group of people stood in a close group with their hands held up by their faces.
A photograph of an orange sun, partially blocked by the silhouette of trees.

'Diviner', 2017, Frances Scott,

film stills courtesy of the artist.

A photograph of a projection of a red screen with a persons face in grey.
A photograph of a projection depicting a child stood between a gap in a wall. They have their hands held above their head on the walls either side of them.
A photograph of the Bower with dark curtains lining the walls and a screen showing a person stood outside a building.

'Diviner', 2017, Frances Scott, The Bower, London

installation view courtesy of the artist and The Bower. Photograph: Glenn Michael Harper

Diviner (2017)

'Diviner' takes its title from a short documentary 'Diviner Water in Luppitt' (1976), housed in the South West

Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) in Plymouth. ‘Diviner’ is a term originating from the 15th century to describe a person who might use special powers to predict future events, or for someone who seeks out water under the ground with the use of a divining or dowsing rod.

Ideas of searching for meaning in matter score the work, structured as a visual and aural script, in which a conversation occurs between voices and incidental sounds in the original recordings. 'Diviner' is formed almost entirely from moving image material held at SWFTA, apart from the opening sequence, which was filmed on 16mm in the archives. Here, the telecine process is recorded - the transfer of analogue film to a digital format - of a section of footage used within 'Diviner' itself. Archival material includes 'behind the scenes' on other productions in the South West, amongst them: 'Far from the Madding Crowd' (1967), 'Straw Dogs' (1971), 'The Shout' (1978), and 'Dracula' (1979); to science education films about the cosmos, news reports of UFO sightings, demonstrations against education funding cuts, tattooed memorials, natural disasters and cultic practices.

'Diviner' meditates on our understanding of the transmitted image, and suggests that history, rather than occurring within a linear narrative, is cyclical and bound to repeat. In this way, the past is a spectral scribe to the present, where the archive becomes a sentient, conversant being.


'Diviner' (2017), 22 min, 55 sec. Single channel film, 16mm film and betacam video transferred to digital, colour, mono. Trailer (30 seconds), film stills courtesy of the artist.

Frances Scott works with moving image, presented through screenings, installations, events and publications. Her work considers material that exists around the periphery of the cinematic production and its apparatus, proposing that a film might be composed of its metonymic fragments. Recent exhibitions and screenings include: Tate St. Ives, Cornwall (2018); Annely Juda Fine Art with The Russian Club, London (2018); CloseUp Film Centre, London (2018); Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2017); Whitechapel Gallery (with Phil Coy) (2017); Peninsula Arts and South West Film & Television Archive, Plymouth (2017); Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2016); ‘London Open’ triennial, Whitechapel Gallery (2015); and ‘Selected III’ videoclub / FLAMIN screenings in the USA including Anthology Film Archives, New York, Seattle International Film Festival, and LA Film Forum (2014), and in the UK (2013). Since 2012 her practice has included CATALOG, a collaborative project with Joyce Cronin. Frances was recipient of the Stuart Croft Foundation Moving Image Award (2017), and graduated from the Courtauld Institute of Art (2003) and Wimbledon College of Art (2010). She is currently working on research towards a long-form film commissioned by TACO!, a new project space in Thamesmead, South London and is artist in residence with the ‘Moving Image Research Centre’ [MIRC] at University of East London.

'Diviner' is accompanied by a text by Philomena Epps. 

Event: 17 July 2018, 7-9pm Join us for an in conversation between artist Frances Scott and Chu-Li Shewring, sound designer for ‘Diviner’ and Karen Di Franco curator and  PhD researcher.

Chu-Li Shewring is a filmmaker and sound designer collaborating mainly with artists and independent filmmakers. She is also a visiting sound tutor at UCL, Goldsmiths and the National Film and Television School. Hunger (2008), by Steve McQueen, was one of her first experiences working with an artist. Her most recent collaborations are with the artist Frances Scott on her film installation CANWEYE { } (2016), and her archival film Diviner. Shewring has also worked with the artists Siobhan Davies and David Hinton, Ben Rivers, Phil Coy and Beatrice Gibson.

Karen Di Franco is a curator and PhD researcher with Tate Britain and Reading University researching forms, strategies and contexts within artists’ publishing. Recent projects include the group show, ORGASMIC STREAMING  ORGANIC GARDENING  ELECTROCULTURE (co-curated with Irene Revell), at Chelsea Space, London.  She has written on Lee Lozano, Carolee Schneemann and Carolyn Marion Stancioff and curated exhibitions on Carlyle Reedy, Annabel Nicholson and Marie Yates, (Flat Time House and Chelsea Space). She has recently completed an AHRC research fellowship at the Archives of American Art (Smithsonian) in Washington DC. Other projects include Book Works online archive and publication Again, A Time Machine (2010-12).

Diviner at The Bower is supported by Arts Council England - Grants for the Arts.

Press Enquiries: Arts PR London