When Joyce Vincent’s body was found in her flat in 2006, she had been dead for three years – the television was still on in her lounge. The extraordinary story of the once beautiful and vivacious 38-year-old who died alone above a north London shopping centre is the subject of a new film by Carol Morley. Ahead of the release, Hide&Seek have created an immersive online experience with writer A L Kennedy and photographer Lottie Davies, and it’s a moving and ambitious undertaking which taps into some of our most potent modern social fears.
Dreams of Your Life revolves around an unsettling “conversation” with an unseen character, set against some beautiful time-lapse photography which creates an hauntingly oppressive atmosphere.
Photographer Lottie Davies, who wasn’t allowed to watch the film before creating the 2,000 images used in the final piece, admitted it was a daunting but irrestible challenge.
“I was, of course, absolutely intrigued by Joyce’s story, and it’s resonance with so many people’s lives – shadows and glimpses, truths, failings. I am fascinated by stories, and by people’s memories of their own lives and experiences – much of my own personal work is about individual personal narrative.
“ Margaret from Hide & Seek was determined that I was not to be influenced by seeing Carol’s film, but to create my own interpretation. So, I had only the bare bones of the story to go on, along with A.L. Kennedy’s writing, which I found absolutely inspiring – it’s curious, compelling, invasive and arresting – she makes you think. Being able to work alongside writing of that power was amazing – and a serious challenge.”
With the help of a crack special effects team well-versed in creating shifting seasons and night/day effects, the photographs have an elegiac power in their own right, but combined with the writing this is a compelling, if often uncomfortable experience.
Everyone involved deserves credit for creating an experience that conveys the sadness of Joyce Vincent with power and sensitivity.
The film is released on December 16.