'Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers are some of the most iconic paintings in the world. What many mistake for one masterpiece, are actually five paintings of sunflowers in vases scattered across galleries in Amsterdam, London, Munich, Philadelphia and Tokyo. This extraordinary feature-length documentary film brings the spectacular series together on screen as never seen before.'
Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers are among his most famous works, and are some of the most iconic paintings in the world. In an extraordinary exhibition, the Van Gogh Museum took a new and revealing look at the five publicly-owned versions of sunflowers in a vase. And once again, the Van Gogh museum opened its doors exclusively to Exhibition on Screen." Excerpt from Press Release
Van Gogh was an introverted genius, a creative eccentric, yet often a troubled individual, whose life experiences organically opened up a deep yearning for creative expression. A man who was constantly seeking that 'something in life' that I feel, he never quite knew what that something was, and therefore as an artist, he found a way to soothe that place and create from that space. I believe it was his search for something that would possibly make him whole, or possibly align him to understanding the world around him better, as well as himself that kept him constantly delving into the Mary Poppins Bag of Creativity.
Sunflowers was an intricate and in-depth look not only into the symbolic representation of the sunflower through the eyes of Van Gogh, as a painter, but I feel it offered others the opportunity to explore the meaning of purpose and the symbolism of an object that was more than just a flower and therefore to offer the opportunity to extrapolate a narrative or meaning from it. We also got to learn the history of the Sunflower.
Those interviewed for this documentary were not only able to understand Van Gogh on a deeper and more introspective level, but they were also able to offer us, the audience the chance to take an object and feel into it, to dissect it and to interpret it on many levels. Offering room to expand ones perception of how we can choose to view life on many levels, ratherthan having a singular viewpoint.
The assimilation of all the perceptions and voices of those interviewed for this Documentary gave me the opportunity to expand my mind in terms of my perception of the Sunflower and that it's representation. In the dissection of it it wasn't just a flower of beauty, but along with this came the presentation of the flower, the various hues of the Sunflower, how it was positioned, where it was positioned, and in what it was placed in, how it responded to light, and what it represented to Society back then and the significance of it's representation in that Society. Then there were the health benefits of the Sunflower. All these things took on richer and wider implications of the Sunflower, almost becoming a personality of its own, and a representation of status.
As an artist does, they take a situation, an object and create around it, various expressions offering ideas and perceptions, that go beyond sometimes what the eye can physically see. Taking us on a journey, sometimes of our own introspection. Van Gogh certainly had the ability endear us to do this for ourselves as he did for himself and this was significantly shown in letters he wrote to his sister.
His letters to his sister, Wilhelmina, shows a man who is aware of himself on a very introspective level, always searching for the deeper meaning of, and through his letters to her he is able to express himself openly. In this particular letter we can see the reflection between him as an artist and the man he become to that artists.
"I am making progress into growing up into a little old man, with wrinkles, with grisly beard with a number of false teeth etc. But what does that matter. I have a dirty and difficult occupation, painting, and if I weren't as I am, I wouldn't paint but being as I am I often work with pleasure and I see the possibly glimmering through of making paintings in which there is some youth and freshness although my own youth is one of those things I have lost."
This fluid journey of constant exploration of the everything around him made Van Gogh the genius he is and one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art.
'With a striking portrayal of the artist by actor Jamie de Courcey and fascinating insights from art historians, botanists and everything in between, the film offers a unique insight into Van Gogh’s life and artwork.
Award-winning director David Bickerstaff, who has made two previous films on the artist, Vincent van Gogh: A New Way of Seeing (2015) and Van Gogh & Japan (2019), says:' Excerpt from Press Release