Airdate: Eric Smith: Not Finished Yet

2013-09-10_0120This week STUDIO screens a documentary on about Archibald prize winner Eric Smith in his quest to mount one final exhibition – an endeavour which has been almost twenty years in the making.

Approaching 90 years of age, Sydney artist Eric Smith has been preparing for his next exhibition for the past twenty years.

Filmed over a two-year period, this intimate documentary captures the passion, struggle, humour and ambition of this ageing artist who guarantees that his “next painting is his best yet.” Commenting on his long anticipated final exhibition, octogenarian Eric Smith declares he wants “to go out with a bang, not a whimper.”

Eric has been out of the spotlight for two decades and it is looking like this exhibition will ever happen. Known for destroying his artworks, Eric may well be his own worst enemy.

Featuring interviews with John Olsen and Peter Sculthorpe, this new television hour documentary Eric Smith: Not Finished Yet follows the story of a great Australian artist and his unending passion and optimism for his art and life. It is a story about an ageing artist’s ultimate desire to defy his encroaching sense of mortality and against all odds, create one final grand exhibition.

This is also a love story. A love of art, a love of family, and most of all Eric’s greatest love, his wife of over 60 years, Joy.

Director (and granddaughter) Kirrilly Brentnall comments: “It has been a joyous experience making a film about my beloved artist grandfather. It has taken me four years to finally finish the film. But I still have one up on Eric. It took him 20years to have an exhibition!”

The film was nominated for a 2012 Atom Award – Best Arts Documentary. As well as a 2013 West Australian Screen Academy Award – Best Television Factual.

Eric Smith: Not Finished Yet  Thursday at 9.30pm on STUDIO.

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