Celebrates New Zealand painter Rita Angus. She lived and worked at a time in NZ when to be a full time artist was not only unusual, it was hardly considered to be a serious occupation. Her paintings were undervalued during her lifetime but appreciated by a small informed group of supporters including the composer Douglas Lilburn, with whom she maintained a life long close friendship.
Over 300 letters from Rita to Douglas were in his possession when he died recently and these form a moving and sometimes startling personal commentary from the artist herself that illuminates a lifetime of paintings. Though Angus died in 1970, filmmaker Gaylene Preston has found a colourful collection of friends and family who knew and loved Rita, while Angus biographer Jill Trevelyan provides a fresh intelligence on the Rita Angus life story. Young artists share enthusiasm for her work and the audience is taken on the occasional jaunt through an iconic work, such as 'Central Otago' and 'Rutu'. Actress Loren Horsley reads Rita's letters to Douglas. And Rita's glorious paintings articulate this sensitive, portrait of one woman's struggle to illuminate her world."
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Lovely Rita at once falters in its exploration of an artist, and succeeds perfectly as testament to the eloquence of her work.
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