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"A Light Among Shadows" and "Village by the Sea"


Sun 11 Oct 2015, 5:00pm–7:00pm

Where: St Peters Hall, Cnr Beach Rd and Ames St, Paekakariki, Kapiti Coast

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General admission (tickets on the door from 4.45pm): $10.00
  • Concession: $5.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Two highly-acclaimed documentary films on the life of early-20th century Whanganui artist Edith Collier, directed by Michael Heath from Raumati South.

Both had sell-out screenings at the NZ International Film Festivals in 2007 and 2012, and went on to festivals overseas in China, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Ireland.

Both films explore the very human journey of Collier's way of seeing the world in New Zealand, in England and Ireland, and how the negative responses from her own community and critics, and the burning of many of her nude paintings by her father, left her demoralised and artistically incapacitated.

Michael Heath says the films are about "our past - our history largely untold, a story about provincial New Zealand almost 100 years ago... a powerful metaphor for the young artists of today dealing with cultural identity and rejection."

"Above they are about a courageous woman determined to survive at all costs. And in the end it is her shining work that is triumphant, and inspirational," says Heath.

"A Light Among Shadows," is the story of Collier's full life, and "Village by the Sea," depicts Collier's summers spent living in a small fishing village, Bunmahon, in Southern Ireland in 1914, capturing the beauty of the Irish land and seascapes, its tumble-down cottages, and the poor peasant community, both young and old.

Both films were made by the team from "A Small Life," (which screened in Paekakariki in September), cinematographer Stephen Latty and Producers Bhim Singh and Krishna Chouhan, and with the assistance of the Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui, and members of the Collier family, and Collier Trust.

Michael Heath says, "We have had a great response to these films at home and especially in Ireland in the location where we shot the second film..... I think people recognise in their hearts the sad story of this remarkable woman and how she has been overlooked and ignored for so long. It is time our national art galleries made amends, and shared her wonderful works with the New Zealand public"

"We are delighted that Michael has made these films available to us for the local community to enjoy," says Sarah Te One from the Paekakariki Community Trust. "We had a very appreciative audience for his 'A Small Life,' screening in September, and hope that people will come along to this special event."