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A self-reflexive film in which a woman reads a text about shearing to camera.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1970 12 mins


Sheepwoman is the final part in Sheepman & The Sheared, a seven-part film made within the workshop and theoretical context of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative, and more particularly of structural/material film. In the series, Leggett delicately negotiates a dialectic between the creation of images and stripping the images of their illusionism. The film takes Landscape as Object in front of the filmmaker and the medium of film; specific conditions to do with both Nature and human activity with Nature are recorded with the camera, but the camera itself is also subject to the observation and reaction of the filmmaker. In Sheepwoman, the camera image – of a woman reading a text on shearing – is the subject, which is examined in conjunction with synchronous/non-synchronous sound and written word image.

Founded in 1966, the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative started life at Better Books, a counter-culture bookshop on Charing Cross Road, where a group led by poet Bob Cobbing and filmmakers Stephen Dwoskin and Jeff Keen met to screen films. Initially inspired by the activities of the New American Cinema Group in New York, the London Co-op grew into a pioneering organisation that incorporated a film workshop, cinema space and distribution office. During its four-decade history, the Co-op played a crucial role in establishing film as an art form in the UK and participated in a vibrant international film scene. This BFI Player collection brings together new scans of films distributed by and/or produced at the London Co-op.