Creation Stories, 2005


a video work of performative actions for camera that referenced different understandings from around the world of how the world began. a video and sound piece which was slowed down to ten percent of its original speed.


‘Fern Thomas’s Creation Stories, a series of unflinching physical gestures made direct to camera, echoed early performance work such as that of Bruce Nauman or Robert Morris, and yet powerfully portrayed the inseparable union between violence and creativity in basic actions of body. The slowed down footage of clapping hands, dropping a rock or throwing mud at the wall, all pretty innocuous acts in themselves, provoked horror and rapt fascination as slowing down the footage made each act sound like an explosion. The final metaphorical gesture of blowing flour from cupped hands at the camera was particularly successful, as the thundering sound was accompanied by a visual explosion ominously reminiscent of the white-out of a nuclear blast.’

Colin Glen First published: a-n Magazine August 2007

‘In slowing down a series of performative gestures which can be seen as metaphors for violent acts, as though ‘sculpting’ with time, Thomas explores the relationship between violence and creation, producing a slow motion video; a kind of temporal magnifying glass, in which we are aware of the artist becoming object within her own work.’

Zoë Shearman,, May 2007