Martha Davis has been involved in film and photography for more than 40 years. In the 80s and 90s she made 12 films which have been screened nationally and internationally. Two were nominated for Genies. She taught Elementary students for 27 years in a career which allowed her to make videos and books of photographs and text with her students. She also ran Intergenerational programmes, where seniors and students collaborated to make work together. Since retiring in 2017, she has returned to working with seniors and now runs a programme in seniors’ homes called “Dream Scenes.” Seniors can fulfill a fantasy through the magic of green screen photography. Davis exhibited this work in the CONTACT Photography Festival in 2019.
Davis’ films are distributed through the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre. Her photographs are available for purchase through “Hello Art!” (helloart.com).
Some of her recent videos are available on YouTube. Search “the Martha Tapes.”
Why did you get involved in this project?
In isolation, your mind can go fuzzy. I launch myself into various projects when my routine gets changed. I had just completed a film for Stacey Donen’s “Greetings from Isolation” project and enjoyed it very much. John Porter sent me an invitation to participate in Midi’s venture and it sounded like fun, so I chose to do the “shooting” and plunged right in.
Did the one week turn-around for the work help or hinder your creativity?
I actually like working to a deadline, so the one week window was fine for me. It neither helped nor hindered.
How did you feel about working on a project where you didn’t know who you were collaborating with?
I’ve always been more or less independent when I work on film projects hiring only technical people around me. I’ve always done my own scriptwriting, cinematography, editing and chosen my own music. So it was a leap of faith to give over 3 of these things to somebody unknown! But as it was, for me, just for fun, I didn’t worry too much about it.
Has being involved in the project changed your thoughts on creativity?
Being involved has not changed my thoughts on creativity. People are always telling me how creative I am, but I don’t really think about what that means. Ideas for making things have always come easily to me. I nearly always finish what I start, so my oeuvre has grown quickly.
If you worked on several videos, what kept you coming back for more and how many did you do?
I just did the images for #46. That was the one I felt most confident in.