Director: Charlie Paul
Documentary, PG, 85 min. (UK/USA)
Virtual ticket for PROPHECY is $9.99 CDN. It is for a 5-day rental.
“A fascinating watch for anyone interested in modern art” – Leslie Felperin, GUARDIAN
“The three-dimensionality, the lucidity of the oils, as much as the graceful movement of the camera, draws us into [Peter Howson’s] world.” – Jennie Kermode, EYE FOR FILM
“A detailed oriented and appropriately gorgeous sit-down with controversial Scottish painter Peter Howson…” – Andrew Parker, THE GATE
This is a rare, intimate exploration of a single oil painting and the first major film to reveal the motive and techniques behind each stroke of paint as the artist creates. The audience is plunged in to the artist’s darkly comic obsessive mind, what starts as a blank canvas, emerges Peter Howson’s monumental oil painting; PROPHECY.
Howson is a former official British war artist who works from his imagination. He draws inspiration from world unrest, religious beliefs and mythology, utilizing classical technical skills from his heroes, Goya, DaVinci, Bruegel and El Greco.
The film sticks deliberately and rigorously to the frame work of the painting itself. We observe the canvas as it is made and mounted onto a wooden stretcher, the struggle and turbulence of its creation in Howson’s Glasgow studio. We follow its journey through the commercial Art world, across the Atlantic to New York for its first public exhibition, the sale and its final destination on the wall of a private art collector in London’s Canary Wharf.
Inventive filming techniques and hypnotic camera work make the invisible, visible, revealing how the unseen images in the artist’s head are transferred to canvas. We discover what it takes to create a large oil painting, the techniques, the materials, the skills, the thinking behind creation, and the intensions and difficulties that push Howson to achieve this ambitious, masterful and detailed 6ft x 8ft canvas. This film draws us right into the artist’s eye, magnifying the apocalyptic world of Peter Howson’s painting: PROPHECY.