Film – Ingrid Petterson’s Island Pilgrimage, 2020

Despite the COVID-19 lockdowns in Victoria, 2020 was a productive year for me in terms of collaborative projects. In the context of the pandemic, collaboration gained a new meaning and importance: going beyond an approach to creating, it was primarily a way of using creativity to connect and support each other during the time of uncertainty and isolation. Art was also a means to respond to the situation. Being a part of Creative Occupation project (curated by Marita Batna) and artist collective I worked on a number of films, and would love to share some of that experience.

I enjoyed working on this documentation-film (April 2020) that was inspired by & based on the Island Pilgrimage Process devised and led by fellow artist Ingrid Petterson. Ingrid’s pilgrimage process was re-imagined for the COVID-19 lockdown. It not only involved the ‘remote access agents’ to the Island (roles performed by Marita and I) for the two pilgrims – Josephine and Matthew, but also a new site – Dog Rocks as the transposed Island of South Channel Fort. Upon research, it later turned out that the beautiful – slightly elevated Dog Rocks site was believed to be an island many thousands of years ago.

Image above. Used in the film was footage from both sites – the Island of South Channel Fort (image) and Dog Rocks. Two sites evoked my return to the idea of reflected image and the representation of duality. ‘Island Pilgrimage’ by Ingrid Petterson (film Michael Morgan), April 2020, film still.

Image above. Zooming into the fragile beauty of Dog Rocks and creating of flowing symmetry of reflection. ‘Island Pilgrimage’ by Ingrid Petterson (film Michael Morgan), April 2020, film still.

Image Above. ‘Remote Access Agents’ making a ‘journey to the Island’ (Dog Rocks). ‘Island Pilgrimage’ by Ingrid Petterson (film Michael Morgan), April 2020, film still.

Full film:

Background description of the film. This documentation-film features ‘Remote Access Agents’ delivering & enacting the Island Pilgrimage Art / Play / Ritual. Why: COVID-19 means the Island Pilgrims are in self-isolation in their homes. The ‘Remote Access Agents’ : symbols of Force, Influence, Control, Domination, Authority, Privilege, and Administration have experienced Wild Nature. Their Mission provides that the Island is visited and honored, the Island Pilgrims have participated in the Creative Occupation.

Roles: Artist, Guide, ‘Island’ – Ingrid Petterson. Island Pilgrims – Josephine Lange, Matthew Howard. Remote Access Agents – Michael Morgan, Marita Batna. Film and sound – Michael Morgan. Concept, Process, Instructions – Ingrid Petterson. Text, Offerings – Josephine Lange, Mathew Howard. Music composition in the film – Josephine Lange. Curation – Marita Batna (Creative Occupation).

(c) Ingrid Petterson, Michael Morgan, Creative Occupation.


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