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Pip

A film by Phoebe Nightingale and William Webb.

A pregnant woman reminisces on her childhood and wonders how she will bring up her own children without her late mother's guidance. Pip explores the space between motherhood and motherlessness, through the analogy of an orange tree.


The Story Behind the Film

I wrote Pip in Seville. I was obsessed with oranges, their sweet perfume permeating my hands, until a story flowed out of them, fully formed. It is a raw, fundamental story of loss.

It began as a writing prompt, given to me by writing tutor Jane Hankin as part of my Illustration degree at Kingston School of Art. She asked me to write about the inside of an orange. For weeks, this story bubbled away in my brain, slowly, and I let it develop.

At first, I only had one phrase; "We laid mama to rest under the orange tree." It was a play on words, swapping marmalade for mama laid, and it hinted at motherhood, death, and a family tree in a literal and metaphorical sense.

I read Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson. I ate my way through clementines, Nardicots, Valencias. I made monoprints using orange peel. I wrote, redrafted, wrote, drew, printed, bound. I desperately tried to breathe life into this little story, this quiet moment in which a daughter buries her mother under an orange tree.

As much as I tried to make it work, to bind this story into a book so it could be unpeeled and savoured by the reader, it simply didn't work.

In a slump, I went back to Jane, and showed her the draft. It was messy, stained with coffee, orange juice, and probably my own tears by that point.

She took one look at it and asked, "Why are you trying to make it into a book? It doesn't fit. It's a film."

Of course it was a film. Of course it was.

Pip doesn't fit neatly into four corners, it doesn't sit snugly on a page. It is too raw, the pain too fundamental, the words too sensual, too overflowing with colour.

It deserved to live, to be felt, heard, seen. Not merely experienced in 2D, then closed and put back on the shelf. This story breathes.

I went to Seville on a uni trip, and finally felt the story come alive. I ate sweet oranges, watched them ripen in a hazy market square, heard the whisper of waxen leaves, rich and dark green. Phrases and descriptions littered my sketchbooks, thumbnail sketches of fruits, skies, colours. My skin became sunkissed, smattered with freckles, each one a record of time spent researching, recording, drawing, living.

When I got home, I wrote Pip as a screenplay in an hour.

I planned and storyboarded the film extensively. Every frame was considered, coloured, blocked, until I knew the film inside out.

I worked together with filmmaker Will Webb to realise the film in the final stages. We work instinctively, pulling the story together, understanding each other's vision wordlessly.

The wonderful actors, Teri and Isabella, are mother and daughter in real life. Their natural bond comes across beautifully on screen. Despite Teri being cold, tired and 3 months pregnant whilst filming, she brings such emotion and intensity to the film.

The setting was the most difficult part. It was filmed in one drizzly, cold, April afternoon in my back garden in Cookham. After extensive colour grading, lighting, and literally spending an hour tying oranges to a pear tree, several people have asked when I went to Italy to film. And that is the biggest compliment in the world!


2017

  • Kingston School of Art - Illustration Animation Film Festival

  • Barbican Centre - Young Visual Arts Group Exhibition

  • Shooting People Film of the Month - Second Place

  • Norden Farm Centre for the Arts - Installation

2018

  • London Short Film Festival - Official Selection

other events you may be interested in

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Beach Life

A special installation designed to be a relaxing sensory delight for everyone, inspired by the beach huts of Goa, featuring work created by local schools.

Get involved in designing (on the floor) and making fluttering kites which we’ll fly over the summer.

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Ed’s Industry – Ed Waller

Edward’s photos convey abstract impressions through the unusual angles on the places and objects that are around us. His early training as a graphic designer imbues his vision of the everyday as art.

Ed’s current style of painting is evocative and powerful. Accomplished mostly in black and white, his paintings are stark statements of fact.

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The Maidenhead Beach

The ever popular Maidenhead Beach is back, all summer long – this year inspired by the laid back tropical paradise that is Goa.

The Beach has been designed and handmade by Norden Farm with the help of the community.

It’s free to play on every day with beachside tables available for snacks and lunch from the Cafe Bar (including children’s picnic bags).


Peel yourself off the beach and get creative with your little ones in our daily Beach Craft sessions:

Arts and Crafts (45 mins) | £5 per child Monday – Saturday 10.30am

Or sit back and relax with them in the story den for our Storytelling sessions:

Storytelling (20 mins) | £2 per person Monday – Saturday 1.30pm and 3.30pm


For maximum chill out, explore the indoor sensory space in our Gallery. It is designed for children with SEND and features work from local schools. Get involved with decorating the floor and making kites.


All of this and a full programme of family films and live events, the Goan Beach is the perfect place to pitch up this Summer.


We love to welcome you and your children here at Norden Farm. However, please be aware that, as we serve hot drinks and food, we do ask that children don’t run in the Café Bar area and are kept close to their adults when on the Beach. Do ask us for children’s books or free colouring sheets if your little ones need some off line distraction.

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Dean Piacentini – Places, Traces, Spaces

Dean fell under the spell of Abstract art as a bass playing art student in the late 1970s.

He tries to generate a series of visually interesting juxtapositions, which lead to a sense of wholeness and recognition as the piece finally slips into view.

Meet the Artist for his Private View on Friday 18th May between 6pm – 8pm.

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SocialArts Exhibition

An exhibition showcasing the work of SocialArts, a Norden Farm project designed to promote the creativity of older people in a sociable environment. Led by Amelia Pimlott (The Ding Foundation) together with visiting artists, the group has engaged in a host of activities from animation to print making.

Supported by the Rothschild Foundation.

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Creative Arts Social Club

Led by Amanda Schenk.

A sociable group for people who want to make art, but just aren’t doing it right now!

Do you have a box of art materials that you keep meaning to use? Did you used to create art but stopped doing it somewhere along the line? Are you inspired to make art when you go to exhibitions?

Professional artist Amanda Schenk leads this creative community. Play with materials, go on art adventures and explore your arty side. You’ll grow in creative confidence, meet new people and have fun getting playful with a range of art techniques.

Wed 2 May – 23 May, 6 Jun – 27 Jun and 4 Jul – 18 Jul
10.30am - 12.30pm
£48 for 4 week course | £36 for 3 week course

Suitable for 18+ years

have your say

1 day ago Delve into an improvised comedy murder mystery with Crime Scene Improvisation this Saturday 23 June at 8pm --> https://norden.farm/events/crime-scene-improvisation Someone’s kicked the bucket. But who, what and how? The choice is yours, the problem is theirs...

1 day ago RT @CrimeSceneImpro: We head to Norden Farm as the #CSI summer tour continues. Next show: The world's daftest comedy whodunnit comes to @n…

1 day ago @HelenLederer @athenakugblenu Thanks for joining us!

1 day ago RT @HelenLederer: Wonderful gig with funny @athenakugblenu love Maidenhead and @nordenfarm are best #muffin #clever #IMightAsWellSayIt #new…

1 day ago RT @HelenLederer: Here we go - bit too much dressing room arm before the gig with Fablus @athenakugblenu at @nordenfarm... #tryout3 #Edinbu…

1 day ago @athenakugblenu Thanks so much @athenakugblenu! It was a pleasure to welcome you to the Farm!

1 day ago RT @CrimeSceneImpro: Will the Beard by guilty next time time? Next show: The world's daftest comedy whodunnit comes to @nordenfarm, Maiden…

3 days ago RT @CrimeSceneImpro: You help to create & solve these bizarre comedy murder mysteries. Next show: The world's daftest comedy whodunnit com…

3 days ago RT @BCA_Maidenhead: Last Night, #Performing #Arts students performed their show 'This Is Us'. As the final performance for our L3 Y2's, it…

4 days ago 'This playful portrait of Jean-Luc Godard manages to be a biopic, postmodern comedy, stylistic homage and poignant… https://t.co/IZKfaxoDJw

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