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Film ID  ACE141
Article 
Title  Edward Allington
Series  Just What Is It...?
Part 
Date  1984
Director  Geoff Dunlop, John Wyver
Production Company  Illuminations
Synopsis  An interview with sculptor Edward Allington (b.1951).
Minutes  16 min
Choreographer 
Full synopsis  ACE141.2 (00:00:00 - 00:16:04)
Edward Allington sawing and carving block of expanded polystyrene. He says he thinks this “tomato” piece is going to be called That Most Fabulous Wound. He says it started off with the open shell form and the tomatoes followed. He’s still thinking about it; he had originally intended it as a follow up to the fish piece but tomatoes took over from fish. He says it has obvious sexual connotations and is the colour of blood but also has literary sources, the idea of the death of the hero. He thinks that all his work has these dense, but latent ideas, perhaps like Poussin. Allington says he can no longer deal with “classical materials” and pretend he’s using “some true material”. Close-up view of details from sculptures. Interviewer is upset at the use of plastics; Allington says he found some Egyptian artificial grapes in the Ashmolean Museum; such things are still made and he doesn’t understand why “we spend so much time making food we can’t eat”. Artificial grapes, shell and beetles flowers, etc. Allington talks about “the assimilation of the abhorrent… trying to avoid dying…” He wonders if there’s a linear descent between Egyptian scarabs and plastic insects. Putting together a cornucopia. Allington thinks he has “a positive pessimism” he’s positive about the nature of the materials, thinks the craftsmanship might come to be appreciated, and is curious about the characteristics they lack such as smell and taste. Perhaps human beings need to make such objects. He disagrees that his work has any “nostalgia” for classical culture because that’s actually all there is. Why are spacecraft called “Apollo”, for example? He talks about earlier work, making cups and jugs, etc., making things “true” to his rural background, though such crafts no longer exist. He talks about coming back from a visit to the Parthenon, seeing an advertisement incorporating two cups and women’s hands, and realised this was too kitsch for him to deal with any more. A cornucopia and other things in his workshop. Credits.

Full credits  Interviewed in August 1983 in his studio in London. This material was shot for but not included in the film Just What Is It…? Camera Jeremy Stavenhagen; Sound Chris Renty; Editor Robert Hargreave; Producers Geoff Dunlop & John Wyver for Illuminations. Arts Council of Great Britain & Channel 4 Television. © 1984.
Watch segments  ACE141.2 (00:00:00 - 00:16:04)
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