New Zealand film crew coming to Bunmahon…

The Art Hand is pleased to announce that to coincide with its official opening in March there will be a documentary film created in Bunmahon called ‘Village by the Sea’ about New Zealand artist Edith Collier’s time spent here in 1914 and 1915.

The film crew from New Zealand hope to capture the spirit of the place that was so inspirational to this great artist who painted the people, landscape and houses of the village of Bunmahon on the Waterford coast in Ireland. Almost all of the drawing and paintings she created in Bunmahon are preserved in New Zealand in the Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui and the Te Papa Museum in Wellington. These will be featured in the production along with her letters and postcards.

The film is being made by New Zealand writer/director Michael Heath with cinematography by Stephen Latty and is being produced by Bhim Singh and Krishna Chouhan of KBCR Production, New Zealand. This film is being made possible by the support of The Edith Collier Trust.

Who is this? Can you identify any of the places or people that are featured in Edith Collier’s artworks? We will shortly have a photo album of all the relevant artworks on our website; In particular we are trying to find out who the boy in the following painting is…

Painting by Edith Collier of Little Schoolboy of Bunmahon, County Waterford, 1915

Little Schoolboy of Bunmahon

Open Day; The film-makers would very much like to meet and speak with local people that can help them to reconnect with the Bunmahon of 1915. Do you have any information about Edith Collier or the artists colony? Newspaper clippings or old photographs of County Waterford from 1914-1915? If you think you can help please phone Sean Corcoran at The Art Hand on 051 292919 or email the director Michael Heath;

Workshop; We will organise a day long documentary film-making workshop with Michael and Stephen while they are here. If you are interested please contact The Art Hand to reserve a place.

Volunteers; The film-makers have also asked for one or more volunteers who are interested in film production to assist them. This is an exciting opportunity to work with professional documentary film-makers. If you are interested please contact The Art Hand for details.

The Art Hand is a new art school that will open in March on the Waterford coast. It will run intensive and challenging art courses led by professional artists in painting, photography, film-making, stained glass, ceramics and more. The Art Hand is located in a spectacular rural landscape on the cliffs near Bunmahon in an area of great natural beauty called the Copper Coast.

Bunmahon is a simple Irish village on the coast of County Waterford. It is situated at the heart of an area designated by UNESCO as a geopark; a place of great geological significance. In the 18th century the area had a booming copper mining industry the remnants of which can still be seen. The area is generally called The Copper Coast. The rugged coastline and cliffs are dramatic with many coves and beaches. The village itself hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years. There are two pubs and no shop. The long sandy beach is popular in the summer for holiday makers and is one of the best surfing locations in southern Ireland.

The upcoming film production will concentrate on the time that Edith Collier spent in Bunmahon. Here is the current poster for the film that features one of Edith’s paintings of the village;

New Zealand film crew coming to Bunmahon for Edith Collier documentary

Village by the Sea

‘Edith Collier: A Light Among Shadows’ The current production is a follow up to a movie made by the same team in 2007 called ‘Edith Collier: A Light Among Shadows’ which covered the full life story of the artist. The Art Hand in association with The Copper Coast Geopark screened this for the local community at the time. We hope to show this film again at The Art Hand with the film-makers in attendance.

The feature length documentary was warmly received by the public and critics and was screened at major film festivals in places across the world including Bangladesh, Kathmandu, Dhaka Nepal, Pakistan as well as in Ireland and New Zealand.

Edith Collier (1885-1964) was one of New Zealand’s most talented yet under-rated artists who was sadly a victim of her times. She created many exquisite paintings whilst studying in England and her talent flourished after she spent two visits to Bunmahon, during the First World War years of 1914-15, with a colony of artists, including Australian Margaret Preston.

But when her father back in NZ felt she was wasting her time, and summoned her back home, she had no option to return. Being back in quiet, provincial, Victorian-influenced Whanganui, people had no understanding of her forward-looking work, and tragically she gave up painting after her father burned many of her nude paintings.

This emotional film tells the story of Collier’s life with sensitivity and respect, and includes much of her extraordinarily beautiful work created at opposite ends of the world. It is not only a fitting eulogy to a remarkable artist, but an affecting tale of cultural identity and rejection. It is a human story too – told through Edith’s family members who realized that their stories and reflections of Edith would be lost forever if they were not documented now.

The film has a distinctive, measured rhythm as it takes the time to dwell on significant landscapes with a rich soundtrack that is always appropriate and evocative. ‘Edith Collier, A Light among Shadows’ is not only an exemplary documentary on a great artist; it is also a dignified portrait of a now distant generation that lived in a very different time and place. We look forward to the new production.

Sean Corcoran

The Art Hand

January 23, 2012

About Sean Corcoran

Artistic Director of The Art Hand in Bunmahon on Waterford's Copper Coast, Ireland. An Art School that runs courses in Stained Glass, Mosaic, Batik and Beach Art. I'm a Sand Artist, drawing massive pictures on beaches with a rake!
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