the zeppelin bend










critical context


research outcomes





































































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The Cloud Collector (2007)

2' 15

Narrated by Gerard Fletcher


The Cloud Collector narrative is the story of an elderly man (The Cardinal) who, since the 1950’s, has developed an obsession with taking photographs

of the jet streams left in the sky by aeroplanes. He stores the images numerically (using the numbers that come free with blank VHS tapes) in hundreds

of books within his house. The abstract elements within the story stem from the fact that the structure of the narrative is written to include the titles of

the top ten best selling novels from the1950’s in order from 1 to 10 (as taken from an Internet ‘best seller’ list below ). The film's imagery

is a sequence of the static photographs of the jet streams.


  • The Cardinal
  • Joy Street
  • Across the River and into the Trees
  • The Wall
  • Star Money
  • The Parasites
  • Floodtide
  • Jubilee Trail
  • The Adventurer
  • The Disenchanted


This work originally stemmed from the archive page here




The Cloud Collector (2007)

By Lisa Stansbie


Delivering the news to those who still required it in paper form, he rode his rusted BMX along Joy Street each morning. His route took him across the river

and into the trees where the drone of the tarmac subsided into an uneasy silence, and then he would often see the colourless figure of the cardinal in the

misty leaded window and feel slightly uncomfortable about his silhouette.


Since the 1950’s the cardinal had been a collector. From his window, the wall opposite was etched with years of abuse and when he stared across, he would

see fantastical arrangements within this urban monolith. His gaze was only broken intermittently by an expectant glance to the sky. Today he considered

how the imprints on the horizon were reminiscent of the pattern on the pedestal his father had left him all those years ago, which now served as a plinth for

his camera. The flood tide from three years ago had damaged his best work, but the tattered ones were still included alongside the pristine books. The

parasites that shared the books' wooden shelves crawled invisibly through the important images they contained. Each one was religiously classified with

sticky video numbers, like star money, that came, unintentionally, to enumerate the later years of his life.   

Occasionally when he looked up to the traces in the sky they reminded him of a time when as a boy he had taken part in the jubilee trail and gained a trophy

for his success as an adventurer. Thinking of these lost years often made him a disenchanted man











The Cloud Collector has been shown in the following material sites:

2007 6 from 4 Group Exhibition, 16th January - 17th February, Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery, Leeds

2007 AvPhD Symposium 14th September, Manchester Metropolitan University

2007 The Zeppelinbend Exhibition (solo) 29th October - 9th November, Alsager Arts Centre, Manchester Metropolitan Univeristy

2007 Objects and Narratives Symposium 21st September, Loughborough University

2007 Siberia International Film Night, 29th September, Siberia Project Space, London

2008 'Multiplicity' lecture and screening event , July 2008, Nanyang Academy of Fine Art, Singapore

2008 Sonic Bomb Film Event, 21st June, The Picturedrome, Huddersfield

2008 Art/Tech/Media: International Screenspace, Palacio de Orive - Filmoteca de Andalucia VIMCORSA, Cordoba, Spain


and the following online sites

2007 Online magazine - Atlantic Basin Project: Mapping the Edge, Shifting Practice magazine has since closed (Cloud Collector photographs and audio)

2008 'On Curating: Mad Love, Orphan Letters, Open Archives' ISSN 1751-4134 (Cloud Collector Text and audio)


The Cloud Collector is also discussed and film stills included in the published essay Connecting the Unconnected by Lisa Stansbie in the 2009 book

Telling Stories: Countering Narrative in Art, Theory and Film edited by Jane Tomey and Gillian Whiteley, Cambridge Scholars Press. ISBN 10 - 1443805327