Lesley Keen: A Persistent Vision

DOWSER Issue 4 (Spring 2021) profiles the work of the experimental animator Lesley Keen and her production company Persistent Vision (1982–1999). From her studio in Glasgow, Keen navigated the field of broadcast television in the early days of Channel 4 to produce a body of work steeped in histories of visual culture, mythology, spirituality and the unconscious mind. Characterised by the flow of luminous lines, Keen’s highly individual work has explored many aspects of non-narrative filmmaking, wherein animation provides a means of describing concepts that could not be otherwise visualised.

This issue comprises a new interview with Keen, reflecting candidly on her experience of Scotland’s production environment in the 1980s. It also includes excerpts of an essay by Keen on the techniques and theories employed in her analogue work, originally published within a companion volume to the animation Taking a Line for a Walk (1983). The issue is generously illustrated with a selection of production artwork, film stills and photography from Keen’s personal archive.

DOWSER is a non-profit project. This chapbook is released as an open access online PDF and in a limited print edition of 200. These printed versions are available for a contribution of £2.50, inclusive of a minimum £2.00 donation to the Scottish Refugee Council (Registered Charity: SC008639).

Issue 4 has been made possible with the support of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities’ Engagement Funding.

Lesley Keen, Invocation, 1984. Courtesy of the artist.