The Heretics' Gate
Installation view in St Michael's Church, Camden
This large scale digital film installation, created for Lazarides' Hell’s Half Acre exhibition in 2010, was inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. The Heretics’ Gate represents Dante’s entry point into the Sixth Circle of Hell, where non-believers burn for eternity in furnace-like tombs.
The fiery, ectoplasmic forms were created with liquid and light. The score is by UNKLE (J Lavelle, P Clements and J Griffith).
Installation view in The Old Vic Tunnels, London
This large scale digital film installation, created for Lazarides' The Minotaur exhibition in 2011, was inspired by the genetic soup in which we all swim. It is a sister film to The Heretics’ Gate and contrasts with that work in many ways while sharing the same soundtrack. The two films can be presented simultaneously in the same sound space.
The score is by UNKLE (J Lavelle, P Clements and J Griffith).
Foster has long been fascinated by the intricacy of the human visual system and how it can be fooled by optical illusion. In 1981 he built a walk-in film installation for his degree show that used projected imagery and large mirrors to incorporate its viewers into an infinite panorama.
He worked in London for several years, honing his filmmaking skills as a visual effects cameraman, a lighting cameraman and then a commercials director. He filmed all over the world and won some of the top awards in the industry.
In 2006 Foster started using newly available technologies to realise some of his earlier ambitions. He gave up commercials to work full-time on a series of finely crafted, high-definition and stereoscopic digital film installations featuring cyclical narratives.
Some of his pieces explore the lengths that people will go to when faced with serious challenges, while others attempt to beguile at a primal level by imposing perfect symmetry on irregular forms from nature. If there is any common theme it is that each of his works strives to engage the viewer by focusing on one small detail of the human condition.
☁ DOUG FOSTER