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Two years at sea 2 courtesy of ben river and lux london

Two Years at Sea

Ben Rivers / GB, 2011 / 88 min.

A spellbinding portrait of a man living in delicate balance with nature in Scotland. In this world shifts in light and dark are more significant than words. Screened to accompany the exhibition around the EYE Art & Film Prize.

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Jake Williams leads a simple and self-provisioning life in the Scottish Highlands, with a cat as his only companion. He spends his days felling branches, building a tree hut and making a raft so he can float on a loch. On one of his rambles he takes a nap in the misty fields – this man is in no great hurry.

This daily life captured in mysterious black and white is not an ordinary portrait however, but draws the viewer into the world Jake has built for himself. He”s a loner living in delicate balance with nature who is engaged in curious projects. When he sleeps, we see leaves reflected on the window, so that it seems his face blends in with the surrounding green. In this world shifts in light and dark turn out to be more significant than words.

Filmmaker Ben Rivers is the winner of the EYE Art & Film Prize, a prize awarded to artists whose work explores the interface of art and film.



Ben Rivers

Production year




Original title

Two Years at Sea


88 min.



Part of

Hito Steyerl, Ben Rivers, Wang Bing - EYE Art & Film Prize

The intersection between film and visual art is an important focus of exhibition policy at Eye. To underline this, Eye and the Paddy and Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund launched an annual prize in 2015 to promote new work by an artist/filmmaker who is making an important contribution to this interdisciplinary field.

Learn more
Hito Steyerl, Liquidity, Inc. (2014)
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12rdp two span superjumbo