Friday 14 January 2011

A Graceful Death Film. The Beginning for my website for the Jesus on the Tube image and its story for an account of an Artist and Mother in Bognor Regis for a small video of the beginnings of the AGD exhibition by Betram Somme

The Film Of A Graceful Death And What It Means

I have teamed up with a film maker to make a documentary film of A Graceful Death. 

The effect of the exhibition has been far reaching.  I have met and spoken with the most wonderful people while doing the A Graceful Death;  I have read some moving and deeply felt poetry, read some excellent writings, and had the honour of painting brave people at the end of their lives.  Creating an exhibition on such a subject as the End of Life and using Art to explore it can become utterly consuming, and I find it difficult to do all of it myself.  I long to talk to people about what is happening with the exhibition, I want to hear what the feedback is, I always want to hear what those who have a story to tell tell me, and I am moved and humbled to paint people who are at the ends of their lives - and I have to promote the exhibition, find the venues, raise the funds to go there and put it on - it is hard work to maintain and to do it all well.  

My friend Neill Blume is a film maker.  His response to the paintings was immediate and emotional, and he was very sure of how the film should be made.  I am in good hands with him, and he understands how sensitive - and how fantastic - this subject is.  We will introduce the story of A Graceful Death, and then film the preparation for an exhibition.  The actual exhibition will be an important feature, we will be able to interview those who wish to talk, about their reactions and their thoughts on the various subjects that it raises, about how it is to die, and what their story is.  Others who have had significant roles in making the A Graceful Death work will also be interviewed.  

The film is intended to carry the message of the exhibition further, to audiences that will not be able to come and see the paintings, but who have shared this experience of death and dying, bereavement and loss, love and hope.  We hope the film will be shown in as many places as possible, and will also accompany the paintings to each and every exhibition and talk and discussion of and about A Graceful Death.

Neill is a very sensitive and talented man, an artist through and through.  He is a thoughtful fellow, and has twenty or so years of film making for corporate and private clients.  We are thrilled and excited to be doing this film, but, terribly nervous too.  It is a big theme, a big undertaking, and it has to be done well.  Brilliantly, in fact.

  Part of the process is that we have to raise the money to make it.  We have begun to put that in motion, and will be fund raising in all sorts of ways soon.  We have talked to a couple of helpful and experienced fund raisers in the arts, and will be making a short promotional video next week with which to start our campaign.  Bearing in mind that this project is now all of two weeks old, we are inspired but have a long, long way to go.

A Graceful Death goes next to Manchester, the exhibition will be starting on the 19 February, in St Nicholas Church, Burnage.  The next blog entry will be about that.  Keep your diaries free, and come to the opening night at St Nicholas on that Saturday, 19 February.  Details in the next entry, within a couple of days.

Of course, when we have done the first promotional video, we will put it up here and you can all see it.  And donate.  You know you want to.

Until then - onwards and upwards.


  1. Wonderful - I'm so looking forward to seeing this. I am sure that it will be a beautiful and moving film on many levels.

  2. Are you familiar with Kickstart? People doing art/film projects decide on a budget, post a funding request, and then people pledge. If the needed amount is pledged, everyone's charge cards are put through. If not, no charge. I don't know that this all-or-nothing approach is the best way, but it has worked for many projects.