Landscape From a Dream. Paul Nash 1889-1946

DirectorTristram Powell
One line synopsisSome of the landscape work of British painter, Paul Nash (1889-1946), with commentary drawn from his own writings.

Woodlands. Narration: "I’ve read of enchanted places, and at rare times come upon them, but I remember nothing else in Dorset so beautifully haunted as the wood in Badbury Rings…" Aerial view of Badbury Rings and surrounding area. Photograph of Paul Nash with narration talking about looking at early drawings which brought back the feelings he had when he made them. Drawing of Night Shrubs and Trees in which he tried to depict the "luminous darkness". Photograph of Nash’s house, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire. Drawings of the garden, where he first came across the sensation of the genius loci. Photographs of Nash. VO talking about his desire to be a landscape painter.. Landscape scenes. Wittenham Clumps, Berkshire. VO talking about the trees. Drawings, engraving and watercolour (Wittenham Clumps, 1913) of the Clumps. "…The strange torture of being in love." VO describing the woman. Illustration (woman’s face in a moon) from "A Book of Verses published between you and me and the bed-post". "The landscape at night particularly excited me…": a moonlit landscape. The Pyramids in the Sea (1912). "The question of marriage was most perplexing." Photograph of Nash, watercolour and engraving of Wittenham Clumps; paintings. The Combat or Angel and Devil (1910). Narration describing the early drawings as "some of the best I ever did to this day". "After 1914 it was another life, another world. I have just returned from a visit to Brigade Headquarters and I shall not forget it as long as I live…" Photographs of Nash in uniform. War subjects including The Menin Road (1919) and We Are Making a New World (1918). "Evil and the incarnate fiend alone can be the master of ceremonies in this war." "The Kent coast at Dymchurch…" South Coast fortifications, waste channels, surf, etc. Drawings of waves breaking, etc. Photograph of Nash picnicking on beach. Several seaside paintings including The Shore (at Dymchurch) (1923), intercut with views of beach, etc.

Photograph of Nash. "I want to expand yet do not see my way. I feel my work must take a definite move, but in what direction?" Assorted watercolours of flowers and plants in pots including Cactus (1928). Driftwood on beach. Landscapes. Huts near the beach. "I began to discover the significance of the so-called ‘inanimate object’." Paintings of fences and garden buildings, etc. Nash’s Surrealist period. "Apples have had their day." Northern Adventure (St Pancras) (1929). Two more paintings. Photograph of Nash with camera. "My reputation as a photographer is growing alarmingly…" Photograph Atlantic Voyage (1931). Other nautical subjects including Harbour and Room (1932-1936). Photographs of natural phenomena – stones, trees, etc.; Earth, Sky (1937). Dry-stone wall and fields; aerial views of land and sea. "My interest in stones began with the discovery of the Avebury megaliths...". Photographs from the 1930s. Landscape of the Megaliths (1937), Equivalents for the Megaliths (1935), Landscape Composition (Objects in Relation) (1934), Mineral Objects (1935). Swanage. Event on the Downs (1934). "Beyond the boundary hedges, the Downs, threaded with juniper and other scrub, mounted to the spine of the great headland that arched up against the blue sky..." Fields, cliffs, sea, etc. Aerial views of chalk cliffs and stacks at Ballard Head and Harry Rocks, etc.; aerial views of landscape, Maiden Castle; early photographs of finds. Painting. More aerial views. Aerial shots of Chesil Bank, sea, etc. Trees. Stone seats. Photographs including some of Ballard Head and Harry Rocks. Landscape from a Dream (1936-1938) and other paintings."We called it ‘monster field’, for an obvious reason...": photographs of dead trees. Painting of similar subject. More photographs and paintings of trees. World War II bombers, fighter crews, etc. "I first became interested in the war pictorially when I realised the machines were the real protagonists…" Long-Nosed Blenheim and other wartime subjects (intercut with original film of fighter planes in action, etc.) including Battle of Britain (1941), Under the Cliff (1940), Totes Meer (Dead Sea) (1940). "I have become increasingly absorbed in the study of light, and the drama of the Great Luminaries, particularly the moon...": paintings including The Combat and. Pyramids in the Sea. Line of fir trees, Wittenham, rocks, stone wall, shingle, lighthouse, etc. Drawing of Wittenham Clumps. One of the Landscape of the Vernal Equinox series (1944). A painting of the Clumps. Eclipse of the Sunflower (1940-1941). Solstice of the Sunflower (1945). Fiery wagon wheel rolling over grass. Credits.

Production companyPlatypus
Running time29 minutes
Full credits

Narrated by Jonathan Cecil from the writings of Paul Nash;
Script Andrew Causey;
Music Stephen Deutsch;
Solo Flute Simon Desorgher;
Helicopter Pilot Captain John Crewdson;
Rostrum Camera Ken Morse;
Production Assistant Jane Burdett;
Sound Peter Rann;
With acknowledgements to The Paul Nash Trust,
The Tate Gallery,
Aberdeen Art Gallery,
The British Council,
The British Museum,
Carlisle Museum and Art Gallery,
Guy H Dixon,
The Department of the Environment,
Durban Art Gallery,
The Edward James Foundation,
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge,
Harrogate Art Gallery,
Leeds City Art Gallery,
Lord Luft,
Manchester Art Gallery,
The National Museum of Wales,
The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa,
The Piccadilly Gallery,
The Arts Gallery of New South Wales,
Victor D Spart and James Graham and Sons,
The Ulster Museum, Belfast,
The Victoria and Albert Museum,
The Vine Trust,,
The Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Photographed by Chris O’Dell;
Edited by Paul Humfress;
Produced by Andrew Lee;
Directed by Tristram Powell.
A Film by Platypus.
Arts Council of Great Britain
© MCMLXXVIII. All rights reserved.

Film segmentLandscape From a Dream. Paul Nash 1889-1946 - ACE073.2
Landscape From a Dream. Paul Nash 1889-1946 - ACE073.3
Landscape From a Dream. Paul Nash 1889-1946 - ACE073.4
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