Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lawren Harris: Where the Universe Sings

Where the Universe Sings:
The Spiritual Journey of Lawren Harris

Canada / 2016 / 91 min. /  English

The film is partially based on a book by James King Inward Journey: The Life of Lawren Harris

This film is for those who love the Canadian painters from the Group of Seven, and also for those who know nothing about Canadian Art and would be astonished to discover the great artistic creations of Lawren Harris, the founder of the Group of Seven.

Having come form a prosperous, the end of the 19th century Toronto industrialist background, nevertheless, from his early age Lawren Harris was destined  to become an artist rather than a businessmen. Yet he ultimately become heir to the Massey-Harris farm machinery fortune. He used his family funds not only to advance his elegant way of living, but also to support artistic aspirations of talented artists who later became known as a Group of Seven (a term coined by him) as well as their associates. Harris financed railway trips for the Group of Seven artists to the Algoma region to paint the Canadian north, and later to Lake Superior, Rockie mountains, and other regions. It was also largely thanks to Harris' idea, funds, and energy, that a Studio Building was raised in Toronto from a decapitated house, and became a home and working studio for several members of the Group of Seven painters, their predecessors, and their artistic descendants. This location had been of such a significance to the Canadian art that in 2005 the building was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act as a National Historic Site of Canada.

The film is not only a biographical narrative, it focuses on what art represented to Harris, his complex perception of life, meaning, and his understanding of art in terms of spirituality. It also presents his writings and poems, especially those passages that illuminate the workings of his creative impulse, his searchings, and his artistic journey. Harris was not satisfied to only create beautiful and colourful shapes on canvas that captured the Canadian northern wilderness, but actually to make with each of his paintings a spiritual statement, a revelation, a portrayal of a spiritual truth.

In 1969, Lawren Harris was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.

I highly recommend this film. It will be playing in the cinemas sometimes in the near future, so watch for it in the upcoming cinema schedules.


Country of Origin: Canada
Executive Producer: Peter Raymont
Producer: Peter Raymont, Nancy Lang
Cinematographer: John Westheuser
Editor: Cathy Gulkin
Music: John Welsman
Production Company: White Pine Pictures

Produced with the generous permission of Stewart Sheppard, grandson of and executor for Lawren Harris.

Produced in association with TVO, documentary Channel, YES TV with the participation of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the Rogers Group of Funds, the Bell Fund, the Canada Media Fund.


On Vimeo

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