Film: 3127

Art + Architecture | 1950 | Sound | B/W


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Reg Butler talks about his work in his studio full of sculptures and drawings. Mainly nudes and abstracts. Lots of heads looking up to the sky. Forge where he works his metals. He had actually trained as a blacksmith. Working with plaster. The artist at work in his studio. Sculptor.

Opening still shot of figurative charcoal drawing which fades into film of empty stretch of country road with fence, trees and hills surrounding it. Car (Butler's) comes into view, races past camera and out of view. Film continues from backseat of car, showing the shoulder and hand of driver on steering wheel and view of empty country road out of windscreen. Second view of empty road with trees/bushes along edges, car again speeds past and off into the distance. View across country landscape from R.Butler's garden. Two standing female sculptures, both with right arms raised, face away from camera towards countryside. Car arrives, drives across edge of garden and approaches house. Long shot of house with more female sculptures standing at various points between camera and house. Close-up shot of standing female sculpture; hands folded behind head, head tipped forward. Over-head shot of artists studio, 2/3 cluttered tables, 4/5 standing sculptures with ladder standing in centre. Close-up of female sculpture infront of ladder, the clutter of studio around edges. Different shot of same sculpture with figure of male sculpture in background, standard lamp to left, ladder to right. Pans away towards group of eight small preparatory studies/sculptures standing on table. Close-up of same subject, different angle. Pan around studio, view of various objects and sculptures both in foreground and background. Longshot then close-up of Butler working on drawing at easel, wearing dirty smock. Close-up of face; short, dark hair, clean shaven with a few lines on his forehead and under eyes. Series of shots of charcoal drawing of female following the various stages of development. Butler standing in studio while viewing work on easel, lighting cigarette and throwing match onto floor. Close-up pan shot of various objects partly silhouetted against square leaded window, including bottle, inks, small sculpture and a human skull. Long-shot of male sculpture standing in studio with strong shadow thrown onto wall behind. (Quite strong lighting). Two close-up shots from below, looking up, of same sculpture. Butler standing in studio, rolling and lighting cigarette while looking at drawings. One shot looking up at his face, another over his shoulder as he views work and smokes cigarette. Different angled shots of small sculptural figures arranges around tall wire structure. Head to waist bust of woman, with head thrown back and arms behind, although she has no hands or forearms. A female(?) sculpture standing in garden, head thrown back, elbows pointed with hands and forearms covering face. Close-up study of four sculptured heads looking upwards. Butler in studio, open fire, working on metal rod with blow torch and safety goggles. Second view, from below, darker lighting, with sparks flying and gas cylinder silhouetted in background. Several close-up shots of figurative metal sculptures. Butler putting metal rod to heat up in open fire. Closer view of him looking into fire, he then removes goggles from the top of his head and then his jumper, leaving him in vest. He then removes white hot metal rod from fire and works on it with hammer on an anvil, a view of shadow across wall behind of the same image. Working again with blow torch, square protective mask held infront of his face, smoke and sparks flying. Shot of the shadow of two sculptures on wall created with the light fron the sparks. Pan from head down body of female sculpture to feet, which are being worked on with blow torch. Long-shot of standing female form (bronze?), lit from one side and with hands over the back of her head. Close-up, from below, of breasts and head. Close-up of Butler mixing plaster, then applying to sculpture with fingers and working with palette-knife. Shot of him working on dry plaster with metal comb, view from front and back, as sculpture is being worked on. View of Butler working with plaster file on the back of a leg of a different sculpture, black liquid then painted onto leg. Several shots, including close-up, of Butler working on white plaster form with a hammer-shaped chisel. Sitting at small table with blow torch working on small black sculpture, a large sculpture of a man standing just behind Butler, long-shot of the same scene. Ends with short close-up panning of sculptures in studio, strong lighting contrast. Throughout this film Reg Butler talks about, by means of a voice over, his life and work as an artist, the influences on and ideas about life. There is also, in certain places, a musical accompaniment.

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