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Garry Shead: In the Steps of D. H. Lawrence

Year: 2015, 31 mins
Code: GS-Lawrence

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How does a creative artist respond to the big challenge of The Flame of Creativity put out by D.H.Lawrence? The only way is, through an act of creativity on your own. Garry Shead understood this challenge, and for so much of his work he's been responding to it.

Two iconic artists, a shared fascination for the Australian land, themes of isolation, the loneliness of genius, intimacy and eroticism. A statement on creative inspiration, making art and self-expression as seen by one Australia's most iconic painters, and a tribute to the controversial talent of D.H. Lawrence.

This documentary by Garry Shead is a creative journey in the footsteps of the great British novelist and poet, exploring his life and work with expert commentary and rich illustration of archival footages of WWI London and early 20th century Australia. Featuring interviews with contemporaries and academics, the documentary explores the concept of creativity and artistic expression by drawing a linkage between Lawrence's work and the painter's artistic approach.

In 1968, whilst on a film-making expedition to the Sepik Highlands in Papua New Guinea, Shead first came across an edition to the letters of D. H. Lawrence, one of the greatest and most controversial writers of the 20th Century. The artist found in Lawrence a spiritual affinity whose fate was somehow mysteriously bound up with his own. A few decades later, Shead created a series of paintings, which were to become iconic in Australian art.

This film includes footage filmed at Wyewurk, Thirroul; the south coast location where Lawrence and Frieda stayed in 1922. The narration is by Jack Thompson. The original music score is by South Coast composer Annette Golden, with other excerpts by Peter Sculthorpe. The commentary features Lawrence scholar Robert Darroch and Professor Sasha Grishin. Editing is by Cris Parker of Browns Lane Video Production.

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Garry Shead - artist, cartoonist, editor and film-maker - has held over fifty solo exhibitions. He was awarded the Archibald Prize for portraiture in 1993, and the Dobell Prize for Drawing 2004.

Many articles and several books have been written on Garry Shead and his artwork, including:
The D. H. Lawrence Paintings, 1993
Encounters with Royalty, 1998
Garry Shead and The Erotic Muse, 2001
The Apothesis of Ern Malley, 2008

Garry Shead Experimental Films also available from Artfilms.

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