Press Releases 2016

A short film on the late Welsh artist Osi Rhys Osmond, supported by UWTSD and Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre has been nominated for a BAFTA Cymru Award

14.09.2016

For the second year running, Brightest Films’ Creative Director Clare Sturges is nominated for a BAFTA Cymru Award – this time in the short film category. The 25th BAFTA Cymru Awards will celebrate the very best Welsh talent in the film and TV industries on 2 October in Cardiff.

Clare is recognised for her producing and directing work on My Brief Eternity: Ar Awyr Le – a short-form documentary following Welsh artist and former UWTSD lecturer Osi Rhys Osmond as he creates his final piece of work for the upcoming Maggie’s South East Wales Centre during the late stages of advanced cancer.

The one-metre square artwork Osi produced, ‘Self Portrait’, unfinished, will hang in the new Maggie’s Centre planned for Cardiff in 2017, which is being designed by architects Alun Jones and Biba Dow.

Osi Osmond2

My Brief Eternity is a collaboration between Brightest Films and Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre, supported by University of Wales Trinity Saint David. It is the second nomination for Clare, who won the BAFTA Cymru Breakthrough Award in 2015 – the first female director to do so.

Clare said: “The My Brief Eternity project is a powerful and poignant way of sharing the inspiring legacy of Wales’s much-loved late artist Osi Rhys Osmond – an important public intellectual whose work and practice has value for everyone. It came about when I was introduced to Osi by a mutual friend at a still life art exhibition. One of the first things he said to me was that he was having chemo for cancer and that, “…it’s hell, but better off than being dead.” I was completely taken with his candour, his speaking style – he was there to launch the exhibition – and the way he made very complex things accessible and understandable. I immediately approached the cancer charity Maggie’s to collaborate on the project, and Osi’s faculty at University of Wales Trinity Saint David. It took six months of work to get the funding in place, during which time Osi was fading, but we made it just in time and filmed with him at his beautiful home in Llansteffan in the last month of his life.  

The film documents Osi's artistic process as a metaphor for life, following him as he creates his last artwork. As Osi pieces together the people, places, memories and experiences that matter to him in a fascinating 'psychogeopgraphy' – and the painting takes shape – he reflects on how we come to terms with mortality, entreating us all to value our lives, no matter how ordinary they may seem. 
This is an important aspect of existence for us all to consider, even though it's hard to talk about‌ and something we often avoid. Osi was so open, candid and clear – he leads by example. I hope the film will help people living with cancer and their families, and the wider public, to reflect on Osi's approach, opening up new conversations about our relationship with life and death.”

Clare, who is based in Cardiff, said that one of the most rewarding things about this project was that Osi, a former member of the Arts Council of Wales, and his wife accepted her into their lives at a time when he was most vulnerable. “They allowed me and my excellent crew (Director of Photography Ryan Owen Eddleston and sound recordist Nick Davies) to capture intimate moments that turned out to be some of Osi’s last,” she said. “The confidence Osi showed in me, the way he welcomed us into their home and worked with us as a part of the team – it confirmed my purpose with the film and bolstered my commitment to producing a work of quality that would honour the man with integrity, creativity and sensitivity. It’s a shame Osi didn’t live to see the film.”

Dr Ian Walsh, UWTSD’s Dean of Faculty of Art and Design said: “Osi was a much loved and respected colleague to many in Swansea College of Art at UWTSD. His passing left an enormous hole in the lives of those who knew him. Clare’s sensitive and poignant film captures Osi in his final days, facing death, just as he embraced life, on his own terms.”

Sarah Hughes, Centre Head at Maggie’s South West Wales said: “Art plays an integral role in Maggie’s Centres, working alongside the architecture to create a place in which people feel both inspired and protected. My Brief Eternity is an authentic and powerful project to raise awareness of cancer and of Maggie’s across Wales, challenging people’s assumptions and inspiring those who are living with cancer."

My Brief Eternity was also an official selection at the 2016 inaugural Wales International Documentary Festival, London’s prestigious East End Film Festival and London Short Film Festival where it was nominated for Best Short Documentary.

 “My work of late, as the illness takes its toll on my stamina, tends to take the form of large mixed-media drawings, with collage, painting, maps, buildings, nature, writing, poetry… works in which one can wander, discover and explore – discursive rather than illustrational – works that I can make sitting down at a large drawing board. I refer to them as ‘graphic essays’.”
Osi Rhys Osmond, November 2014

 You can watch My Brief Eternity here https://www.maggiescentres.org/mybriefeternity/

 Maggie's speaks to the late artist Osi Rhys Osmond about living with cancer: https://vimeo.com/129865418

‌ ‌‌Osi Osmond3    Osi Osmond1

  

Note to Editor

The new Maggie's Centre will be built in the grounds of the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff and is due to open in 2017, the Centre has been designed by award-winning architects Alun Jones, who is originally from Caerphilly, and Biba Dow of Dow Jones Architects. Maggie’s South East Wales will join the existing Maggie’s Swansea Centre which opened in 2011 at Singleton Hospital.