Louis Le Brocquy

Louis Le Brocquy

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Digitised as part of the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage project





24min 23sec




British Film Institute, UTV

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The artist discusses his inspiration, early education and enslavement by Cubism in an un-broadcast interview from the UTV archives.A monumental figure in 20th century Irish Art speaks about his work as an ongoing search for the human condition. The interview was filmed in Botanic Gardens outside the Ulster Museum but never broadcast. It is a disjointed experience for the artist and audience alike as technical problems disrupt the flow of the interview leaving answers unfinished. It ends with the repeated questions and noddies familiar to anyone who has experienced a TV interview with only one camera.


Derek Kinnen presents this episode of Spectrum, a half an hour fortnightly programme on Ulster Television that brought arts matters to a local audience from 1971-1988. Le Brocquy is largely self-taught, having studied Chemistry before leaving Ireland in 1938 to travel around Europe studying paintings. By 1963 he felt trapped in his work and destroyed 43 paintings in search of more authentic way to express the human as an isolated presence. This interview takes place nine years into his Ancestral Head phase that emerged from this artistic crisis as he resumes tapestry. In the next few years he would go on to paint W.B. Yeats, Joyce and Beckett as disembodied heads.


This material is courtesy of the UTV archive. Interview with Louis LeBrocquy by D. Kinnen, filmed by D. Scott and S. R. Brien with sound by C. Frater.



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