“…a brave and unusual film.” – The Guardian
Irish documentarian Pat Collins’ acclaimed film essay follows the renowned US folklorist and ethnologist Henry Glassie as he observes significant makers across artforms around the world, craftspeople for whom the creative act brings “a momentary fulfillment of what it is to be human”.
Inspired by and featuring Glassie, Field Work is an immersive and meditative film set among the rituals and rhythms of working artists in Brazil, Turkey, North Carolina and Ireland. The film displays the director’s trademark eye for details and the process of the artist’s work is awe-inspiring. Glassie’s subject is folklore and art but his deep abiding love for the people who create it resonates throughout the film. “I don’t study people” Glassie says, “I stand with people and I study the things they create.” Artists like the sculptor Edival Rosas from Salvador in Brazil describe their practice as one where body and spirit are integrated, where in Glassie’s words the creative act brings “a momentary fulfilment of what it is to be human”.
This event is part of our season Ways of Knowing: Work/Process.
Pat Collins is a film maker from West Cork who has made over 30 films over the last 25 years. His latest film is the documentary Henry Glassie: Fieldwork. He has directed the feature films Song of Granite and Silence. Fionnuala Halligan of ‘Screen International’ wrote “In an era of safe film-making, especially within the art-house sector, it’s rare to view a title as formally audacious as ‘Song of Granite’.” He has made films on the writer John McGahern, the poets Michael Hartnett and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, the Connemara based writer and cartographer Tim Robinson, the Iranian film maker Abbas Kiarostami (co-directed with Fergus Daly), and two political feature essay films ‘What We Leave in Our Wake’ (2009) and ‘Living in a Coded Land’ (2014). He also makes short experimental films including ‘Pilgrim’, ‘What Remains’, ‘Twilight’, and the forthcoming ‘All Ways’ funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. He is also in post-production with an observational documentary on the making of Michael Keegan-Dolan’s dance show ‘Mám’/
Henry Glassie, College Professor Emeritus at Indiana University, has received many awards for his work, including the Chicago Folklore Prize, the Haney Prize in the Social Sciences, the Cummings Award of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, the Kniffen and Douglas awards of the Pioneer America Society, the Nigerian Studies Association Book Prize, and formal recognition for his contributions from the ministries of culture of Turkey and Bangladesh. Three of his works have been named among the notable books of the year by The New York Times.