The Lost Girl, 2020
installation details/stills, Arcade, Bush House, King's College, London (January 14th - February 28th 2020)
7.15 minute HD projection onto cardboard, beach sand, found debris,
two-channel sound developed in collaboration with James Green

History's Debris, 2020
series of 7 digital prints on Hahnemühle German Etching paper
290 x 420mm each
edition of 5 two A/P

The Lost Girl is an immersive film-based installation by Dr Kate McMillan centred around the fictional character of cave-dwelling girl on the east coast of England. Using DH Lawrence's book of the same name as a starting point, the film narrates the experiences of a young woman seemingly alone in a dystopian future, with only the debris washed up from the ocean to form meaning and language.

It is set within a future-time which suggests the decimation of civilisation as we now know it, bereft of other people. The character attempts to create a past and a future from the debris that is washed up from the ocean. She is without language and prior knowledge and must make sense of her existence only through detritus. The film combines various research interests including the Anthropocene; the role of creativity in forming memory and the consequences of neglecting female histories.

"This work exists in the blurred space between autobiography and imagination. Its setting, Botany Bay, is the namesake of the first site of contact between the British and the indigenous Gadigal people of the Eora Nation in what is now called Sydney. McMillan was brought up on the northern coastal plain of Perth, Australia, a landscape with an uncanny resemblance to Botany Bay and which is also Mooro, home to the Whadjuk Noonghar people. A regular visitor to Botany Bay as a child visiting English relatives, her choice of this landscape as backdrop to Le Pera’s experiences infuses the film with her own individual memories alongside collective memories of colonial displacement and violence in Australia. The deserted spaces speak of the absence of their original populations. The survivors of such violence across the globe are now disproportionately affected by the impact of anthropogenic climate change, as the legacy of colonialism continues to determine survival or destruction." excerpt from catalogue text by Dr Jessica Rapson

The Lost Girl was developed with assistance from the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King’s College London, funding from the Australia Council for the Arts; Arts Council England and the Arts & Humanities Research Institute at King’s. The exhibition and events programme is supported by the University’s Culture team. Please contact the artist or the Culture team at King's for copies of the catalogue which includes an essay by Dr Jessica Rapson