Film: 5449

Art + Architecture | 1980 | Sound | Colour

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Synopsis:

Yvonne Hudson : Sculpture.
Throughout this film Yvonne Hudson is interviewed in the 1980's. While she speaks about her life and work the viewer is shown many of her sculptures and some of her works in other media, the techniques Hudson uses to begin and finish her sculptures and other works are also shown. Many aspects of her life are shown by means of archive film footage of her family, black and white photographs and footage of her everyday life.
The film begins with a shot of Yvonne Hudson. She is walking towards the camera through gentle waves along a beach, the camera pans left, showing the sea and horizon. The film cuts to a second shot of Hudson, again walking towards the camera, this time next to a wooden beach groyne. She has shoulder length grey/brown hair and is wearing a brown checkered poncho and blue wellington boots. She stops to touch and look at a pile of cloth tied to the groyne. The film now cuts to a shot, taken from the other side of the groyne, which shows Hudson walking away from the sea and up the stony beach. Other groynes, the stony beach and the sea are visable in the background. The film cuts to shots of inside Hudson's studio. They begin with a close-up of a record player, with record playing. The shot pans up to reveal Hudson working on a clay head sculpture, she is now wearing blue overalls. Cut to a close-up of Hudson's hands, one holding a thin clay impliment, as she works on some detail on the back of the head. Cut to a shot, again showing Hudson working on the clay head. The shot is from the front and shows both the face of Hudson, in focus, in the background and the face of the clay head, out of focus, in the foreground. The film now cuts to a shot of a more abstract wooden sculpture depicting three women, all facing left, which stands on a window sill. A close-up on the three faces follows, showing their rather indistinct features and long dark hair. Film cuts to a shot in Hudson's garden of a life sized female sculpture, the sculpture is surrounded by leaves and grass. The woman depicted is wearing a long red dress and has long, pale hands which rest on her thighs. Cut to a second outside sculpture, a shot of the heads and shoulders, again surrounded by leaves. The sculpture shows two women of oriental appearance, standing shoulder to shoulder, but looking in opposite directions. The film now cuts to a close-up shot of a flat wooden head, focusing on the hole in the wood which represents the eye. The camera fades out to a full shot of the head, which appears to show an adult in shock or fear, with mouth open, face turned to the side. The film cuts to a close-up shot of Hudson as she models a small clay sculpture, as she does this she describes her working techniques to a class of adults. Cut to a shot of two members of the class who are watching intently, one a man about 30 years old, the other a womem of about 65 years old. Film returns to a shot of Hudson's face, her hair flopping down infront. Cut to a shot of her hands as she continues modeling; a seated mother with child, she also continues discussing technique. The film cuts to five different, close-up shots, of the adults in Hudson's class. They are all shown working on their own small, individual sculptures. The shots include a man who licks his thumb to wet an area of his sculpture. Cut to a panned, long shot which shows the entire class and Hudson walking between tables as she looks at the work. She begins to discuss her family history and a black and white photograph of her parents is shown; her father in army uniform. The interview with Hudson continues as she is shown sitting in a large backed, flowery patterned, armchair. Hudson continues discussing her early life.

Cut to a panned shot of a black and white group photograph showing students from the Slade School of Art who had been evacuated to Oxford (1940's). The panned shot stops on a young Hudson seated between two young men, one with a long square beard. Four still and panned shots follow of photographs from the same era which show Hudson with her college friend and fellow artist Rosalie Williams. This includes a shot of the two women on a small barge on a lake, one at either end holding an oar each. One of the women looks very unbalanced, as if about to fall into the water. Return to a shot of Hudson in her armchair, then to a still shot of a black and white photograph of Hudson and Williams in their college studio, paintings are both on an easel and being looked at on the floor. There follows six still shots of black and white photographs which show images of London directly after the end of the Second World War. Two of the photographs show longshots of London, one which includes a view of St. Paul's Cathederal, both images show extensive bomb damage. The other two photographs show people, mainly women but also two boys and one man, standing in the street outside shops in food queues. One shop has fish/haddock hanging in two rows in the window. A shopkeeper with full length white apron is also in the photograph. Two other photographs show London street scenes with contemporary cars and buses visable. Over these images Hudson discusses the excitement and difficulty of living in post-war London. The film now cuts to a shot of Rosalie Williams sitting in a garden discussing student life with Hudson. She is wearing a green cardigan and a green shirt with rather long collars. Return to film of Hudson in armchair as she discusses her early work; figurative ceramic sculptures. Four of these sculptures are shown with individual panned shots, all are figerative representations of the female form. Hudson also discusses her diplomas and the Slade prize she won for that year; 1948. The film now cuts to a shot of the garden which shows a sculpture depicting two men, it is a fairly stylised representation. One man is standing and appears to be holding a disc, the other is seated next to and infront. Cut to a still shot of a black and white photograph which shows Hudson working on the sculpture. Film follows of Hudson and her husband, a farmer, and shows some of their farm life, including Hudson mixing food and feeding cows. The film continues with images of black and white home movie footage which shows Hudson, her husband and their four young children. They include a long shot of them all paddling at the water's edge on a stony beach, and sitting next to a groyne on a rug on the beach as they have a picnic. The children are very young; age 4/5 years down and have light coloured hair. Two are wearing swimming costumes, two are naked. Close-up shots of the group follow, including on the thoughtful face of the eldest child/daughter. Similar footage continues this time of the children on the farm. The images include a close-up of two of their children, one a baby, lying on some hay. A shot follows on the babies face as he tries to eat some hay. Two children of about 2/3 years play with a children's US Army(?) jeep. One child sits in the front seat holding the wheel the other pushes.

A long shot follows also in the farm/gardens showing a boy and girl aged about 3/4 years, walking towards the camera. One child is dressed up as a cowboy, the other as an Indian. A close-up shot follows of the two childrens faces. Two of the children are shown feeding the hens and collecting the eggs. The film now cuts to five still and panned shots which show ceramic busts that Hudson had made of her children as they grew up. Cut to film which shows Hudson giving a puppet display at a local school. These include several shots of the children's faces, aged about 8/9 years, close-up shots of the puppets and longer shots of Hudson as she opperates and discusses them with the class. The puppets include a camel and an 'eastern gentleman'. The film now returns to Hudson in her studio. A long shot follows of the cluttered room, then a close-up as she works on a sculpture; a male figure who sits with his knees pulled up to his chest. The sculpture is made of clay and Hudson applies torn sacks covered in liquid clay to it's back. Cut to a close-up shot of her hands, covered in liquid clay, and then her face as she works on the sculpture. Over these images she discusses her return to sculpture/art after a 10 year break taken to look after her children. She also discusses the sculpture she is working on; Joe. Return to a shot of Hudson in her armchair. Cut to a panned shot of two coloured drawings/paintings, which both depict rather menacing figures. Cut to five still shots taken from black and white photographs. Each photograph shows Holocaust victims or survivors just after liberation. A panned shot follows of a painting Hudson based on the Holocaust;long, snaking lines of indistinct figures. Hudson continues discussing this and other work, including some which have religious themes. Cut to a long shot to close-up of the previously mentioned female sculpture of a girl in a long red dress; Raising Jairus' Daughter, a rarely depicted Biblical subject matter. Hudson discusses the appeal to her of this piece. Cut to a long shot to close-up of Hudson's sculpture of St.John the Baptist. He has very long hands and an open mouth, as he shouts a message. The film continues with shots of the inside of Hudson's local village church. There are long and close-up shots of the paintings and the ecclesiastical embroidery she has made and are hanging in the church. (Some made in collaboration with Rosalie Williams). Hudson discusses this work in some detail. Cut to a long shot and several close-up shots of Hudson and Williams as they sit opperating spinning wheels. The close-up shots include; a black high-heeled shoe pushing up and down on the pedal, hands twisting the thread/wool and feeding in into the spinning wheel, and sections of the spinning wheel in operation. A long shot, then close-up, of Hudson sitting at a stool infront of a tapestry of a landscape scene. Various different coloured threads are scattered around. A close-up shot follows of Hudson using a needle to weave a thread through part of the tapestry. A close-up, panned shot of the tapestry, followed by a panned shot of the landscape scene that the design was taken from.

A shot of Hudson in her studio as she picks up a sculpture and then carries it outside. She is wearing blue overalls and green wellington boots. The shot continues outside as she carries the sculpture along a farm lane to another building which houses the film. Cut to a close-up shot of Hudson as she puts the sculpture into the kiln. A boy, aged about 13 (her son), helps brick up part of the kiln. Cut to a still shot of a black and white photograph from 1963 which shows Hudson inside the kiln placing four clay heads ready for firing. Cut to a shot of Hudson as she lights a blowtorch and then lights her kiln with it. Two close-up shots follow of the flames inside the kiln, viewed through small air vents/holed in the kiln wall. Cut to a long shot, then close-up shots, of Hudson and her husband emptying the kiln.


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