The Great Importance of Whim

Society of Scottish Artists Annual Exhibition: CUTLOG – Re-Imagining Wonderland, installation by Mike Inglis.
Left. Jessica Ashman – Utopia Portals: Middle. Chak Hin Leung – Jugaad: Right. Tanatsei Gambura – The Great Importance of Whim.
Photograph by Su Grierson.


“… insist upon your right to go off on a tangent. Your right to put the spanner in the works. Your right to refuse to be labelled and to insist on your right to behave like anything other than what anyone expects. Your right to simply say no for the pleasure of it. To insist on your right to confound all who insist on regimenting human impulses according to theories psychological, religious, historical, philosophical, political, etc. . . . Insist upon your right to insist upon your right to insist on the importance, the great importance of whim.”

– Dambudzo Marechera, 1978.


The Great Importance of Whim (2020) explores the internal existential musings produced by isolation and despair in a world undergoing collapse. Shot by a single hand-held video camera, the black-and-white moving image work emerges through the possibilities of light and darkness. It follows an ephemeral figure, as represented by a body, occupying the mundane yet profound space of everyday existence. Through an omnipresent stream-of-consciousness voice, the persona contemplates what it means to imagine an alternative world that exists only in the private space of the psyche.

The Great Importance of Whim, still images.