The Green and Pleasant Land

13:32 / HD Video / 2017


Taking as its subject different perceptions of the British landscape, this short animated film is a roaming exploration of national identity and collective history set in a post-Brexit environment. Using a 3D model of the United Kingdom, a variety of visual scenarios – poignant, nostalgic and absurd – are enacted using a ‘live’ animation technique. These scenes draw directly on user comments found below the line of videos and online newspaper articles concerning the English and British countryside.
What emerges is a meditation on the British landscape – both as an imaginary vision and as a new world digitally constructed. The Green and Pleasant Land is a site where opinion, memory, history and highly charged emotion are given form, and are opened up for discussion and critique. 

This film was commissioned by Arebyte gallery and developed through a residency with support from Arts Council England. It was exhibited as part of Arebyte’s 2017 programme.


2019 Vitrine gallery, UK
2019 Werkleitz Centre for Media Art, Germany
2019 DOK Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, Germany
2018, New UK Shorts, Sheffield Doc Fest, UK (World Premiere)
2018, International Programme, DOK Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, DE
2018, Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam, NL
2018, Artist Film Programme, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, UK
2018, Bolton International Film Festival, UK


2019, ‘Max Colson satirises post-Brexit UK in a 3D-modelled animation’, It’s Nice That

2018, ‘DOK Leipzig: When Animation Meets Nature’, Berliner Film Festivals,

2017, ‘Crude Golden Age: A Comment on The Green and Pleasant Land by Max Colson’, Digicult (written by Filippo Lorenzin),


Born and based in London, Max Colson works predominantly with digital media and film. His work explores the intersection between architecture and landscape and considers their relationship to hidden socio-political discourses such as those relating to class, national identity, and urbanism.

Recent screenings of work include: Vitrine (London, 2019); Werkleitz Centre for Media Art (Halle, 2019); the Royal Academy (London, 2019); DOK Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (Leipzig, 2018+2019); Sheffield Doc Fest (Sheffield, 2018); SPACE (London, 2018). He has had UK solo exhibitions in London at the Royal Institute of British Architects (London, 2015) and Arebyte (London, 2017). His short films have been the recipient of awards such as the Tenderpixel Gallery’s Tenderflix Artist Video Prize (UK, 2017) and a finalist of the Lumen Prize (UK, 2019). He was selected to participate in Film London’s FLAMIN Fellowship 2019/20 programme and for the SPACE Art and Technology Residency 2017/18.

He teaches on the MA Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins and is a graduate of London College of Communication’s MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (2013).

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