Wednesday, January 08, 2014
The Society of Wood Engravers (SWE) and Tin Films released a new DVD last year titled MODERN BRITISH WOOD ENGRAVING A New Look at a Traditional Medium. I recommend it highly. It is produced and directed by Leonie Bradley and David Robertson who introduce us to contemporary wood engravers in Britain. The main film runs for 45 minutes and there are also 10 minute conversations with each of the ten wood engravers featured in the film. The wood engravers include: Neil Bousfield, Simon Brett, Harry Brockway, Chris Daunt, Anne Desmet, Edwina Ellis, John Lawrence, Peter Lawrence, Miriam Macgregor and Hilary Paynter.
The exceptional value in this DVD, I believe, is how we are introduced to the individual artists. We see their studio environments and we listen and watch as they describe not only their working methods but what motivates and inspires them to create these fascinating wood engravings. I have met a few of the artists who are interviewed in this production and their generous and sharing nature comes across in the film just as it did when we met face-to-face. Of course, that should be no surprise. One of the consistencies of wood engravers is their open and willing nature, to share what they do and how they do it. I suppose it comes with the territory of working in an antiquated medium. There's a compelling desire to share it, in the hopes that it will be picked up and will continue on to the next generation.
The British DVD system is different from the system in North America. There are different systems throughout the world. Britain's is a number 2 and North America is a number 1. If you have a DVD player that gives you an option of 1 or 2, you can play the disk in Canada or the US, but if you have an old and simple DVD player like mine, you can play the disk on your computer. That's what I do, I'm in Canada (and yes, it's bloody cold here).
The SWE website has a page that includes information about how to order MODERN BRITISH WOOD ENGRAVING: