SCHQ Electric: TJ Wilcox


Why Tiree? It's hard to convince people that a grey, rainy, windy, blowy island, freezing sea, is the place they would like to go every summer. But when they go, they understand.


SCHQ Electric presents TJ Wilcox’s 2017 video work Fergus. A portrait of the British chef and restaurateur Fergus Henderson, a close friend of Wilcox’s, the footage unfolds through a sequence of musings by Henderson; wandering through themes of love, illness, and gastronomic inspiration.


Mediating between documentary objectivity and the inner life of his subject, Fergus documents Henderson’s personal world as much as his professional career, revealing how the “fickle thing” of food has permeated every aspect of his life. His monologue is punctuated by rhapsodic descriptions of particular dishes, including the “little pile of bone marrow” that has become his signature, and “a cheek of pig’s head braised like an alligator in a swamp”.


The film shifts between recent footage shot in Tiree and London to snatches of older film of summer holidays on the island. Some of these ‘archival’ sequences are shot on Super-8 film: refracting their events through grainy and tremulous footage, as if viewed through the filter of memory and recollection.