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The Watch Man

Illingworth, Shona (2007) The Watch Man. Arts Council England Video and multi-channel sound installation, 17 minutes. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:45474)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.


The Watch Man (17 minutes), is an video and immersive multi-channel sound installation which uses new audio technologies developed by FeONIC to create a red luminous floor that resonates with sound across its entire surface. The Watch Man examines how individual memory refers to a traumatic set of collective memories over a lifetime period. Drawing on cognitive neuropsychologist Martin A. Conway’s theories of memory, through ongoing dialogue, the Watch Man explores the conflict between trauma memory and the need for a coherent ‘life story’ through the experience of an 80 year old watchmaker, who as a 19 year old British soldier experienced one of the most deeply affecting and shocking events in the Second World War.

Illingworth, S., Conway, M. A., Albano, C., Bennett, J., Bode, S. (2011). The Watch Man, Balnakiel: works by Shona Illingworth. London: Film and Video Umbrella, was dedicated to Two of Illingworth's projects: The Watch Man and Balnakiel (2009). The Watch Man has been written about extensively in books, journals and media including a major case study in Bennett, J. (2012) Practical Aesthetics: Art, Affect and Events After 9/11, IB Tauris, London, and in Albano, C. (2012) Fear and Contemporary Art – two chapters featuring, ‘The Watch Man’ and ‘Bare Dust’, Reaktion Book and Albano, C. (2008) Uncanny: a dimension of contemporary art. ESSE arts and opinions, Fear 2 (62). pp. 4-11. The Watch Man was exhibited in solo installations at: Dilston Grove, London; Interaccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, Toronto with the International Images Festival of Film, Video and New Media and at the Wellcome Collection, London to coincide with their exhibition War and Medicine. It has recently been screened at the Museum of Modern Art Buenos Aires in a special screening of Illingworth’s films, 14 November 2014.

Item Type: Visual media
Projects: The Watch Man
Subjects: N Visual Arts > N Visual arts (General). For photography, see TR
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Funders: Arts Council England (
Depositing User: Shona Illingworth
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2014 15:18 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 10:40 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Illingworth, Shona:
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