by Anna Lucas

A close up of a small black bird within a cage


  • 1Video still from Adrift
  • 2Video still from Adrift
  • 3Video still from Adrift
  • 4Adrift installed at Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK
  • 5Adrift installed at Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK
  • 6Adrift installed at Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK

Video still from Adrift


In Adrift, visitors move through an assembly of Super-8 films and projected slides shot by Lucas around the world. Images of movement and passage form a thread throughout the installation: ports, ferries and embarkation are soundtracked by Lucas’ field recordings of public gatherings, overheard music, birds, wind, helicopters and thunder.

Adrift focuses on travel, displacement and migration, combining film projections, still images and sound, forming cinematic interludes that are inflected with reverie and tenderness, disquiet and departure. Images of movement and passage form a common thread throughout the installation. Working ports, freeways, tourist ferries and cycles of embarkation are shown alongside scenes of emptiness and motionless activity. The work ‘travels' through a series of generic locations as sequences shift from screen to screen. Depicting poetic motifs with the perceptual flow experienced in her travels, Lucas unpacks - with subtle sensitivity - Debord's notion of detournement. With the heightened attention of the traveller, she invites us to abandon ourselves to an uncontrolled web of free associations. The suspended multi-screen installation retains a delicate aspect of three-dimensional play that transforms previous virtuosos, such as Doug Aitken's or Bill Viola's, into assertive uber-technological statements. The melancholic yet painfully honest symphony that Lucas composes is constructed with small fragments and extreme discretion; the Super-8 film increases the impact of colour and its grainy quality elegantly evokes a tension towards authenticity.


Year 2004
Medium 4 screen video installation
Original Format Super 8
Screening Format MPEG-2 DVD
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Audio Yes
Colour/B&W Colour
Screens 4


Commissioned by Picture This and Chisenhale Gallery and supported by Film London.

Screening history

19 February - 17 April 2005
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, UK

04 February – 14 March 2004
Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK

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Anna Lucas

Picture This have worked with artist Anna Lucas in a variety of ways including commissions, working with artists and communities and selecting