Eye of the Storm

Venue online
Date 19 September
Time 20:00pm
UK Nation Scotland
James Morrison - Face to face with Polar Bear (c) Montrose Pictures
James Morrison attending his last exhibition - with daughter Morrison Judith
James Morrison faces blindness (2) © Montrose Pictures (c) Eye of the Storm

Eye of the Storm is a fascinating exploration of what it means to be a landscape painter. It is also the poignant and universal story of a creative mind dealing with his own mortality, and the physical frailties that catch up with all of us.

The film movingly intertwines Morrison’s struggle with old age, with his lively views as a much younger painter, captured in remarkable archive filmed more than 50 years ago.

On 20.00-21.00, Sunday 19 September, we invite Catriona to the British Council’s bilibili live streaming session to share her experience of making animation for this film, and her own career path from portraying Scottish culture and art to becoming an internationally recognised animator. Julie Chun, arts historian, will host the session and ask questions. Live streaming link

The full video of Eye of the Storm will be available on the British Council’s bilibili channel during 19 Sep. All are welcomed to watch the film and join our conversation with Catriona and Julie in the evening!

Pivotal moments in Morrison’s career are also brought vividly to life by Scottish animator Catriona Black. Indeed, her own journey to understand Morrison’s artistic genius, in order to do justice to it in the film, represents a story within a story in this multi-layered and visually stunning documentary.

Morrison explains that it all started in Glasgow. Son of a shipyard pipefitter, Morrison entered the famous Glasgow School of Art in 1950, under the tutelage of David Donaldson, a towering figure in the Scottish art world at the time.

Morrison’s first major subjects were the crumbling Glasgow tenements, home to thousands of working class families soon to be relocated to the outskirts of the city. Though painted without people, Morrison’s stark and haunting paintings are memorials to a lost way of life (“I was painting in areas of Glasgow that no longer exist”) and would find their place in major museums. And his concern with documenting fleeting, disappearing worlds, would become a recurring feature of his work.

Anthony Baxter is a former BBC journalist and award- winning director that Stephen Holden of the New York Times describes as “a filmmaker who refused to be brushed off”.
Montrose Pictures is an award-winning film and television production company based in Montrose, Angus, making content for the BBC, international broadcasters, Amazon, Netflix, Apple & others.

Eye of the Storm is a Montrose Pictures production, in association with BBC Scotland and Screen Scotland. The film has been selected for major film festivals in the United States, Canada and Europe, following its World Premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival.

Anthony Baxter

Richard Phinney