Margaret Mellis: A Life in Colour


The life and work of the Scottish artist Margaret Mellis.

SKU: 1245
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Year Produced: 2008
Running time: 65 minutes
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Margaret Mellis may be regarded as one of the best Scottish artists of her generation. As a gifted child pianist, she experienced music as colour, and an intensely personal musical sense of colour and tones relations has from the beginning been at the heart of her art. This innate love of colour was encouraged by a favourite teacher. The famous Scottish colourist Samuel Peplow, and later by her second husband, the collagist Francis Davison. This film reveals the deeply creative and intelligent woman behind the art.

It movingly chronicles an artist’s life that has been quietly rich in both its external and inner aspects. It follows her on a journey from her childhood, through her precociously successful artistic beginnings at Edinburgh College of Art, her marriage to the remarkable writer. Adrian Stokes, friendships at St Ives in the war years with Ben Nicholson, Naum Gabo and Barbara Hepworth, her later happiness with Davison, and her terrible sadness at his early death.

Margaret Mellis talks of her life and art with grace and intellectual acuity. Music and image, documentary and poetic evocation illuminate a vivid picture of her determined pursuit of artistic and emotional truth, a vocation that gas always had or her an ethical imperative. Roger Deakin wrote: The strength of the work is in its ingenious composition of colour, texture and form, all improvised in a lively, playful spirit.

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