curved frame film scan, showing a photograph laying on green grass with three yellow buttercups placed on top
Buttercup, 28 minutes, 2024. 16mm film and digital video (2 channel installation)

Buttercup combines memoir with formal experiment. The film revolves around a single photograph depicting a child wearing a Communion dress, standing beside a man and a cow in a field. Returning to the farm where it was made, the photograph is described and referred to repeatedly throughout the film. These descriptions of still and barely-moving images prompt thoughts on human and bovine domestication, and the entanglements of gender, disability, and wildness.

Buttercup is made in close collaboration with audio describer Elaine Lillian Joseph and composer David Donohoe. Captioned and audio-described versions of the film alternate as a 2 channel installation, differing sensory translations accessible for all visitors.

A text in response to the film by Sarah Hayden titled as if […] wearing anklesocks is published to accompany the exhibition of Buttercup at SIRIUS, Cobh, County Cork, 13 April – 8 June 2024. This publication is designed by Rose Nordin and produced by Kunstverein Aughrim.

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Written, directed and edited by Sarah Browne

Music: David Donohoe

Voice: Elaine Lillian Joseph

Camera: Helena Monteiro Gouveia, Sarah Browne

Field recording and sound design: David Donohoe

Colour grade: Michael Higgins

Audio description: Elaine Lillian Joseph

Captioning: Daniel Hughes

Programming: Billy Kemp

Phytogram technique shared by Karel Doing

Consultants: Martin Kelly, Laura Tansey, Gillian Stafford, Noreen McInerney, Ciaran Stewart

Paraphrased quotations: Steven Rings, ‘Mystères limpides: Time and Transformation in Debussy’s Des pas sur la neige’, 2008; Hollis Frampton, (nostalgia), 1971; Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson, Animals in Translation, 2005

 Thanks: Miguel Amado, Nikolaas Nieuwstraten, Billy Kemp, Megan O’Driscoll, Carys D. Coburn, Kate Strain, Sarah Hayden, Michael Birchall, Iarlaith Ní Fheorais, Miriam O’ Connor, Róisín Power Hackett, Ciaran Taylor, Sightless Cinema, aemi, Dean Kavanagh, Dennis McNulty, Crystal Media, PJ Kane, Liam and Mary Browne

Commissioned by SIRIUS, Cobh, County Cork, Ireland

Supported by the Arts Council’s Arts and Disability Connect Scheme managed by Arts & Disability Ireland