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The film Gifts, originated from eight objects that were traditionally given in England, to welcome a new child into the world: Egg, Coal, Evergreen, Salt, Candle, Bread, Coin and Silver. Each symbolic gift has been the theme of a public event, created by Artist Clare Whistler, in collaboration with leading artists, musicians, poets and documented from 2005-2015 by established filmmakers. Gifts is an interpretation of the eight events, directed by Nichola Bruce.

The film brings together English traditions of ritual and landscape. Financed by Gift Economy movement and Arts Council England.



Egg for life

Coal for heat

Salt for health

Candle for light

Bread for food

Coin for wealth

A silver ring for love throughout life

These are traditionally the gifts given to a newborn child

A film interpreting eight events filmed from 2005 to 2015.


ARTIST Clare Whistler

FILM MAKER Nichola Bruce

EDITOR Sam Sharples


Egg for Life

Performers: Clare Whistler, Jen Mitas

Keats House, London

Writer: Alasdair Middleton

Sculptor: Margaret Higginson

Costumes: Liz May

Filmed by: Rebecca E Marshall

Thanks to:

Keats House


Coal for Heat

Bunce’s Barn, Beech Estate, Sussex

Performers: Clare Whistler, Sophia Campeau-Ferman

Victoria Rance, Alex MacInnis

Writers: Alex MacInnis, Jane Buckler

Sculptor: Victoria Rance

Filmed by: Kate Adams, Alex MacInnis

Thanks to:

Bunces Barn, Beech Estate, Keith Datchler,

Miner Jim Davies, with Lynda Davies, CHIK Project at Dover Museum,

the volunteers at the Cape Breton Miner’s Museum, Glace Bay

(Notebook sources include Coal: A Human History Barbara Freese)


Evergreen for Eternity

Church Yard, Battle, Sussex

Performer: Clare Whistler

Poet: John Agard

Sculptor: Wycliffe Stutchbury

Filmed by: Rebecca E Marshall, Kate Adams

Thanks to:

Richard Davies, Jane Buckler, Philip Carr-Gomm,

Alan Judd, Lucy Bell, St Mary’s Parish Church Battle,

Ralfe Whistler


Salt for Health

Seafront, St Leonards-on- Sea, Sussex

Performer: Clare Whistler

Artist: Kjell Torriset

Singer: Alba Allan-Torriset

Poem White Page White Page Poem

Muriel Rukeyser,

from A Muriel Rukeyser Reader

edited by Jan Heller Levi. W.W.Norton & Co 1995.

Filmed by Tim Corrigan, Kjell Torriset

Thanks to:

Electro Studios, Hastings Borough Council, Alex MacInnis

Project Art Works, Rose Sharp


Candle for Light

Canal, Pett Level, Sussex

Performers: Clare Whistler, Joanna Haigood,

Hattie Stutchbury

Artist: Tamsin Currey

Filmed by: Sam Sharples

Thanks to:

St Nicholas Fisherman’s Church, Pett Level, Pett Level Historical Society,

Anne Crosby, Andy Dunlop, Olivia Fuchs, Jane Metcalfe, Wycliffe Stutchbury,

Joanna Haigood, Peter Cole

In memory of Robert Whittle 1942-2010


Bread for Food

Old Barming Asylum and Blackthorn Trust Bakery, Kent

Performers: Clare Whistler, Jane Trowell, Marina Tsartsara

Hattie Stutchbury as ‘Gretel’

Singer: Lea Cornthwaite

Filmed by: Nichola Bruce, Sam Sharples

Thanks to:

Blackthorn Trust, Sandie Rose, Miche Fabre Lewin, Marina Tsartsara,

Kay Syrad , CAConrad, Seb Doubinsky, Ali Aitchinson, John Forrester


Coin for Wealth

Cuckmere Haven, Seven Sisters, England

Performer: Clare Whistler

Artists : Chris Drury, Christine Kettaneh

Filmed by: Alex MacInnis, Charlotte Still

Thanks to:

Robb Cunningham, Lucy Corkhill, Cuckmere Cottage,

Rod Barker, Peter Harrison, Jenny Haken, Alex MacInnis,

Charlotte Still, Susanne Wolf


A Silver Ring for Love throughout Life

South Downs, England

Performers: Clare Whistler, Laura Gwynne

Singers: Katie Tearle, Jonathan Dove

Original Song: Jonathan Dove

Filmed by: Nichola Bruce, Sam Sharples

Thanks to:

The Ram Inn Firle, Firle Church, South Downs National Park,

Charlotte Still, Judith Allan, Mercy Sidbury,

Peter Owen-Jones, Flo Cruttenden.

Installation Film: Aristotelis Maragkos, Rebecca E Marshall


Artist Collaborators

Alasdair Middleton, Jen Mitas, Alex MacInnis, Victoria Rance, Sophia Campeau­Ferman, Jane Buckler, Joanna Haigood, Kjell Torriset, Chris Drury, Kay Syrad,Tamsin Currey, Wycliffe Stutchbury, Sam Sharples, Christine Kettaneh, Richard Davies, John Agard, Kate Adams, Jane Trowell, Marina Tsartsara, John Forrester, Susanne Wolf, Rebecca E Marshall, Jonathan Dove, Charlotte Still, Judith Allan, Mercy Sidbury

Special Thanks to all the participants

Kate Adams, John Agard, Judith Alder, Judith Allan, Alba Allan Torriset, Meredith Andrew, Russel Beck, Lucy Bell, Nichola Bruce, Jane Buckler, Ali Campbell, Santiago Cabrero, Sophia Nick Campeau, Stephanie Carr­Gomm , Li­E Chen, Kevin Costello, Lea Cornthwaite,Tim Corrigan, Tamsin Currey, Robb Cunningham, Lucy Corkhill, Chris Drury, Jonathan Dove, Leonore Easton, Lindsay Edmundson, Julie Ford, John Forrester,Olivia Fuchs, Dimitra Giakourmi, Laura Gwynne, Jack Joanna Haigood, Jo Hughes, Adrienne Hunter, Laura Jordan, Christine Kettaneh, Mim King, Alex MacInnis, Aristotelis Maragkos, Hannah Marshall, Rebecca E Marshall, Susan Marshall, James Marriott, Jane Metcalfe, Alasdair Middleton, Jenny Miller, Jen Mitas, Sam Naidu, Dody Nash, Grace Nichols,Sarah Norris, Nico Olivera, Nici Oxley, Peter Owen­Jones, Mark Pappenheim, Jethro Pemberton, Anthony Powell, Alan Privett, Victoria Rance, Kate Raven, Emma Roberts, Mike Scott, Rose Sharp, Jack Sharples, Sam Sharples, Jenny Shepherd, Nick Snelling, Avi Soudack, Charlotte Still, Kay Syrad, Hattie Stutchbury, Martha Stutchbury, Wycliffe Stutchbury, Katie Tearle, Kjell Torriset, Adam Trexler, Jane Trowell, Marina Tsartsara, Niki Turner, Anita Walker, Tom Walker, Dan Whistler, Jane Whistler, John Whistler, Iris Whistler, Kirsty Baring, Matilda Bathurst,Korina Biggs,Robert Bathurst,Victoria Bathurst, Campeau­Ferman, Haigood, Ralfe Whistler, Raphael Whittle, Robert Whittle, Susanne Wolf.

Coin Interviewees:

Adam Croft, Karen Clarke-Whistler, David Kowitz, Charlie Bean,

James Marriott, Bill Drummond, Laura Gwynne, Arthur Brown,

Christine Kettaneh, Paradise

with special thanks to Raphael Whittle


Executive Producers: Clare Whistler, Nichola Bruce

Producers: Nichola Bruce, Kasia Skibinska

Written by Clare Whistler, Nichola Bruce

Production Manager: Sally Lampitt

Camera: Sam Sharples

Assistant Camera: Jack Pyke-Bruce

Sound Design: Sam Sharples

Assistant Editor: Jack Pyke-Bruce



The Gift Events were made with gift economy

Hastings Borough Council

Arts Council England

Inbetween Space – Nichola Bruce Archive + Production

© 2016