Programmed by Charlène Dinhut
Much like when Rose begins a painting, making a filmic portrait is an open engagement; the exact form will reveal itself in the making. I began by visiting Rose repeatedly at her house in Kent, filming her in her studio, house and garden. The film grew from modest beginnings and became much longer than intended, mainly because I wanted to keep returning to see Rose. The film, finally, is a meeting between two friends.
Filmmaker Ben Rivers starts out enjoying himself as he adopts the role of interviewer. Then, with tenderness, he follows the paths of his friend Rose Wylie’s work. He touches on what drives it, on what’s stubborn and intractable about it. Wylie has been famous for decades for her art, large paintings restless with spontaneity, resolution, joys and raw sorrows. In a garden in Kent, there’s Rose Wylie who paints. And who sees the world. This ostensibly solitary labour is populated with a sea of faces from the tabloids, with a crowd of objects sketched in notebooks, with a cohort of disturbances and reflections. Rivers elaborates on the image of the woman who herself creates images; the hands paint, cut and think, and the shapes that Wylie paints are incredibly alive.
Programmer and curator