Three proposals were initiated during my residency at Plymouth Arts Centre 2006-2007. They evolved into a 14minute film, shot in 16mm and shown on DVD – entitled Buddleia.

Buddleia charts Best’s attempts to challenge habits of production and formulate new directions for her work in a  beautiful film that traverses Plymouth’s urban and marine landscapes and explores narratives of the imperial nature  of the city. The work is imbued with personal, silent moments that reflect Best’s experience that reflects the tensions  in the city. During her year-long residency at Plymouth Arts Centre, Best has developed ideas and proposed projects that reflect  the changing environment of Plymouth. She has used different methods to develop her work, driven by an interest in  both local and collaborative practice. The process from which her art projects emerge, arrives from conversation and  observation, characterised by ‘events’ set fleetingly within a social or physical landscape. Best’s work observes the surrealism of the everyday while engaging with the specific situation. “

text from press release for Buddleia by Anna Best and More Opportunities by Barbara Holub at Plymouth Arts Centre.


With thanks to:

  • Jaime Feliu-Torres
  • Sundog Media – Stuart Moore and Kayla Parker
  • Fencers – Jake and Corinna
  • Lamenters – Lucy, Jackie, Anna, Cynthia
  • Paula Orrell and all at PAC
  • Andrea Crociani
  • low profile
  • Lau Thiam Lok
  • Tabatha Andrews
  • Sarah Harris and Nick Clapham at Crediton Fencing Club
  • Picture This
  • Andy Hill  and the Shillingfords


The initial three proposals

A Buddleia Plantation… to plant Buddleia (Davidii – common form) on outdoor site where regeneration / development is planned, e.g. down at Millbay, or on the harbour front where new gallery is proposed. Size of tennis court or more, depends which site available. Idea that plantation will grow and become an entangled but potentially accessible space . Ideas to do with the plant, “an opportunistic rascal”, a colonising plant, it is symptomatic of wasteland,  a symbol of impending development or unstopped decay of buildings.  To form it as a plantation, planting in rows. Inverting it’s characteristics as weed. Slowly becoming a place – sinister, beautiful, eventually inpenetrable. The double sided character of the plant, pointing at paradoxes within development, the pros or cons of regeneration… that’s why ideal site is Sutton Harbour car park by arches. We are currently in correspondence with Plymouth City Council. Approximately 200 seeds sown Jan 5th ’07.
Fencing along wall of naval base… to commission two people to fence slowly along a part of the wall of the naval base in Devonport. Working with Jaime Feliu Torres in 16mm film transferred to digital video. To make a film of this action from corner of Duke Street. Also to film with three mini dv cameras in fixed positions so fencers pass in front of the lenses sequentially. Piece could potentially be screened on 3 projectors/monitors as installation as well as a single screen option. A small audience may be invited to view the filmshoot/performance (maybe from houses if I can get in contact with them). Links to antiwar and anti nuclear protests at the base. A general response to walls and barriers in the city, a feeling of divisions, hiddenness. I have had so many conversations around Plymouth about the high rate of disaffected and social deprivation due partly to reduction of employment at naval base (research link with US company Haliburtons) – there being nothing to do, the atmosphere of a garrison town. i was told about a recent amnesty for knives, and thought about dancing and fighting, protest and futility, fighting as a hobby or simulation. Jan/Feb 07

Breakwater… to commission actors (young women?) to cry at the sea from the breakwater. Lamenting, crying, screaming, shouting – different forms of intense emotional expression. Developing idea with Paula to include people on the shore as well, around the sound, facing inwards from the breakwater and seawards from land. This becomes much more ambitious and large scale… Would be a live event and audio piece. My original thought was to film on the breakwater as original idea to make film piece rather than document of a live event. For larger scale version a recording sound with gun mics on a boat in the middle of the sound.  (work with Paul Whitty hopefully). Summer ’07.