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theEye: Chris Ofili

Year: 2004, 26 mins
Code: ILL-EYOfili

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In 2003 Chris Ofili created the spectacular installation within reach for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Combining a cycle of paintings depicting lovers in a Paradise-like garden with a shimmering glass dome, Ofili plunged visitors into disorienting spaces of dense colour and enveloping light. 

Shot in London, Germany and Venice, this film relates the creation of within reach. Chris Ofili's reflections on the process are complemented by interviews with his collaborator in Venice, architect David Adjaye, and the structural engineer from Arup Associates, who helped realise the complex dome. 

Also included is an exploration of The Upper Room, an installation of 13 exquisite canvases by Ofili, which was first shown in 2002. Both this and within reach are about "trying to create an atmosphere for people to feel somehow out of themselves." His aim, the artist explains, is to "do something that is sincerely interesting and can honestly enhance the experience of looking."

Christopher Ofili, CBE is a British Turner Prize-winning painter who is best known for his paintings incorporating elephant dung. He was one of the Young British Artists. Since 2005, Ofili has been living and working in Trinidad and Tobago, where he currently resides in Port of Spain.

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