2016 Finalists

Charles, 2015

by Amiel Courtin-Wilson

Winner, 2016
Duration: 6 minutes 29 seconds
Single-channel HD digital video
Soundtrack by Eliane Radigue (Jetsun Milla)

Artist's statement

Charles is a portrait of a middle-aged man I met outside a 7/11 late one night on the outskirts of Oklahoma City in 2015. Charles had been homeless for some years, estranged from his family because of his schizophrenia, and was living by a pond at the back of the convenience store. We instantly formed a very intimate connection due to his gentle and deeply compassionate outlook on life. He told me beautiful stories about how he would talk to the trees and clouds before going to sleep each evening, and his plans to visit his daughter in Memphis before the end of the year. We ate some dinner together by his pond before shooting this portrait at about 3am.