Volume 94, Issue 89
Friday, March 9, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Gazette File Photo
By Matt Pearson
An old friend of London's artistic community will make a re-appearance this weekend in the city he loved, admired and examined through both his paintings and experimental films.
The Jack Chambers Film Project will include screenings, a panel discussion and a lecture by film historian Stan Brakhage. The event will also unveil Chambers' film work that has to this point been quite difficult for London residents to attain.
According to Michael Zryd, a professor in Western's film studies program, this weekend's event is very significant. "One of the most important London artist's work is now available to the public. There is a new generation that hasn't been exposed to his work so we wanted a weekend of introduction," he said, adding film screenings will take place tonight and twice tomorrow.
Zryd also noted this new generation of artists could potentially be influenced by Chambers' work. "He was dedicated to art that celebrates and examines London as a place," he said, adding one of his most acclaimed films, Hart of London, is a perfect example."Chambers might provide a different perspective on a place we think we know," he said.
Gordon Price, a librarian at the London Public Library and the man partly responsible for attaining these films, agreed. He explained the library purchased the films along with public performance rights, allowing them to transfer the films onto videocassette and offer them to a wider audience. "His films have received international acclaim over these years and now they are open to the public," Price said.
"It was really frustrating for people who were looking for Chambers' work. Until now, there has been a lack of good information about that period, about Chambers himself and his significance," Price said. "Artists in London in the 1960s and 1970s would have been hugely affected by [Chambers'] work."
Price also noted the effect a project like this will have on the contemporary artistic community. "A lot has been said of the vibrance of the art community in London, including artists like Chambers and Greg Curnoe. Their works and lives can serve as a mentoring tool for practicing artists now."
Brain Meehan, executive director of the London Regional Art and Historical Museum suggested the event is an opportunity for a new generation of artists and patrons. "I think it's a wonderful introduction to both aspects of his career his paintings and his films," he said.
"People know Jack Chambers as a painter, but for those who know him as a filmmaker, there is a real appreciation for how influential he was," Meehan said. "One of the things that's important is how [the films] complement what he did as a painter. There were qualities in film he couldn't achieve with paintings."
Meehan added the project, produced jointly by Western's film studies program, the LRAHM and the London Public Library, is the first of its kind for the city. "I think these co-operatives are essential because it allows us to bring together three audiences," he said.
"This event provides a more holistic look at Chambers' life and his work," Price said
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