Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Solitary Alchemist at MovieTowne Friday September 25th

Director Mariel Brown (centre) enjoys a hearty round of applause after The Solitary Alchemist, a portrayal of the life and art of Barbara Jardine. With her from left are: Barbie Jardine, Marina Salandy Brown (ttff director), Sean Edghill (cameraman) and Eniola Adelekan (cinematographer)

Yesterday evening, a full house at MovieTowne POS sat enraptured by filmmaker Mariel Brown's documentary, The Solitary Alchemist—an intimate and moving portrayal of the life and art of Trinidadian jeweller, Barbara Jardine. The film traces Barbie's history, from her education at London's Royal College of Art to the return to her native Trinidad in 1974 and her life here since, with a present-day focus on Barbie's creation of a new work for an exhibition in Scotland.

After the film, Mariel answered a few questions with Barbie and Sean Edghill, her cameraman, and Eniola Adelekan, her cinematographer. When asked why she chose to make a movie on Barbie, Mariel said the following: "I have childhood memories of my mother dressing up, getting ready to go out. And then, when I was 16 I saw an exhibition of jewellery at Precious Little and Barbie's piece, In Memoriam was there and I was absolutely gobsmacked as I had never seen figurative work like that."

Years after the show, Mariel curated an exhibition of work by locally-based artist/jewellers and got to know Barbie a bit better. She was delighted when the artist invited her to see a piece she was making, and noted last night that it was evident that Barbie was open to sharing her creative process. After Mariel was asked in 2006 to edit on a book on Barbie, she got to know the artist a bit better and became even more fascinated and realised that there was a story there she wanted to explore.

Read the full article here by Melanie Archer on the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival's site.
More pics below.

A full house takes in the post-screening Q&A

Eniola, Mariel, and Sean at MovieTowne after the screening

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