8th July – 31st August 2023

Opening Saturday 8th July at 1pm in Gallery One

Flight from the City | And In the Silence Came… | Heart of a Tree

A film trilogy of works by Clare Langan, curated by Peter Richards and Mary Stevens.

Seminal Irish artist Clare Langan is an acclaimed film maker who is exhibiting in Belfast for the first time in this very special exhibition screening at Golden Thread Gallery. Langan explores the fragility of mankind and our impact on the world around us in her atmospheric films. The work evokes feelings of nostalgia, loss, transformation and isolation. Climate catastrophe frequently repeats throughout her films, acting as a transformative event, as she imagines a world without humans, yet still bearing evidence of human existence.

About the Artist

Clare Langan studied fine art at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. She represented Ireland at the São Paulo Biennale in 2002. In 2003 Langan presented her ambitious A Film Trilogy at MoMA, New York and the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin. In 2019 she became a member of Aosdána, an Irish association of prestigious artists created in 1981. Most recently, a still from her film The Heart of A Tree won The Progressive Vision Curtin O’Donoghue Photography Prize as selected by The RHA Annual Exhibition 2022.


Flight from the City is a film about connection, love and separation and transition. Starkly shot in ‘black’ water, it focuses on the bond between a mother and daughter. This poetic, emotive film will strike a chord in all of us, reflecting our own relationships whether it is with a child, a parent or a partner. The film was shot in March 2015 in the hot spring at Fludir in Iceland for a new composition, Flight from the City which was created for Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, who sadly recently passed away. This is the second collaboration between Jóhannsson and Langan, the first being The Floating World (2013).

6 minutes HDV

Music: Jóhann Jóhannsson | Camera / Editing: Clare Langan | Actors: Tristan Gribbin; Leela Lynn Arni | Post Production: Outer Limits | Thanks to: Stefan Arni, Tim Husom


And in the Silence Came… Is a collaboration with composer Dora Tomic which was made during the Masterclass with the father of sound scaping, Bernie Krause at Stiftung Nantesbuch Center for Art and Nature Munich. The film captures the sounds of the seen and unseen animals and insects at Stiftung Nantesbuch, where a programme of rewilding has been taking place. Bernie Krause has been recording the sounds of animals and insects worldwide for over 60 years, many of which are now extinct. The film is a meditation on the importance of rewilding and the threat of animal and insect extinction without drastic action.

Director – Clare Langan | Music Composition and Sound Design – Dora Tomic | Cinematography and Editing – Clare Langan

This film was conceived while participating in Soundscape Masterclass with Bernie Krause a cooperation between Stiftung Nantesbuch and Biotopia, May 2019.

Participants: Dr. Henrik Brumm, Andreas Baumüller, Tom Hull, Clare Langan, Rico Reitz, Prof. Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Dora Tomic.

Biotopia: Prof. Michael Gorman, Colleen Schmitz, Stiftung Nantesbuch, Dr. Konstantin Reetz, Annette Kinitz.


The Heart of a Tree contemplates the centrality of these giants of nature to the planet’s survival, and ours. Trees provide us with the very air we breathe. It is a glimpse into a future world where human beings have evolved and adapted in order to survive. Pandemics such as coronavirus are the result of humanity’s destruction of nature, according to leaders at the UN, WHO and WWF International, and the world has been ignoring this stark reality for decades.

By ‘shaking the viral tree’ we have brought this pandemic upon ourselves. This film is a timely metaphor of a world turned upside down by our disregard for nature and the planet. The film is shot in a barren treeless landscape, which could either be a future vision of earth or another planet. The inhabitants negotiate their way thought this inhospitable environment, harvesting air, the new gold. They plant trees on a deserted black beach, hoping to repopulate the planet with its source of oxygen.

The film explores the disconnection between humankind and nature and ultimately within ourselves. It is about redressing this imbalance, which has reached a tipping point. Global ecology is a delicate balancing act. It has become necessary for humans to evolve within their environment in order to survive. The film’s narrative contains this tension between harmony and strife.

Director – Clare Langan | Cinematography – Robbie Ryan/ Clare Langan | Choreography – Maria Nilsson Waller

Cast: Marcia Liu, Erik Nevin, Maria Nilsson Waller.

Art Director – Anna Rackard | Costume Designer – Judith Williams | Editor – Daniel Goddard

With the music of – Jóhann Jóhannsson

‘Odi Et Amo (Theatre of Voices Version)’ Written and Performed by Jóhann Jóhannsson

Published by Mute Song Ltd, Courtesy of Universal Music

Music and Sound design Daniel Goddard

Featuring voices of Chris Davies, Cathy, Georgie and Nancy Goddard

Dubbing mixer Ben Young

“The Heart of a Tree”


Producer in Iceland – Stefan Arni | Executive Producer – Edwina Forkin

Catering – Tristan Elizabeth Gribbin

Special thanks to; Maria Nilsson Waller, Anna Rackard, Robbie Ryan, Judith Williams, Tim Husom, Rosalie Vos, Deutsche Grammophon, Brian Langan, Daniel Goddard, Páll Gíslason at Kerlingafjöll, Iceland.

Funded by The Arts Council of Ireland

An Arni & Kinski | Zanzibar Production

Golden Thread Gallery is supported by: