Posted Tuesday 12 Oct 2021
Jan Bieringa is the creative producer for this documentary on mercurial artist Theo Schoon, set to screen in the New Zealand International Film Festival. Directed by filmmaker and art historian Luit Bieringa (Ans Westra: Private Journeys/Public Signposts NZIFF 2006, The Man in the Hat NZIFF 2009 and The heART of the Matter NZIFF 2016), and edited by Lala Rolls, the doco pieces together the tale of Schoon from historic archive footage, photos and audio recordings, underpinned by Bieringa's own encounters and correspondence with Schoon, as well as conversations with contemporaries.
Schoon crossed paths with the likes of Rita Angus, Colin McCahon, Len Castle, Helen Mason and, significantly, Gordon Walters, but his most powerful encounters were with Māori culture. From his work to preserve historic cave paintings, to his exploration of koru and kowhaiwhai, his revival of hue (gourd) growing and work with pounamu carving, he unapologetically traced a maverick path towards a legacy that remains controversial and relevant today. — Andrew Clifford
Image: Theo Schoon