Drawing for Bellevue Estate

16mm to 2K transfer, stereo sound, colour/black & white, 12’00”

Drawing for Bellevue Estate was recorded on Tobago, an island with a unique role in the development of the tropical imaginary, as it was used by Daniel Defoe as the setting for Robinson Crusoe (1719), the first and most popular realistic fiction novel in the English language. 

One segment of the film recalls the legend of Gang Gang Sarah, the ‘African slave witch’ who, wishing to return to her homeland, climbed the sacred Silk Cotton tree and tried to fly, not realizing she had lost her powers during her stay on the island. 

The other segment of the film shows four men cutting their way through the jungle, making measurements, calling out to each other, working on something that comes into focus as a kind of land claim or marking of territory. The film as a whole is a portrait of the island as a sentient being, showing sites of past and present exploitation.