Artist’s backstory revealed

Art on display . . . Eastern Southland Gallery curator Jim Geddes stands with one of artist Theo Schoon’s art pieces. PHOTO: VALU MAKA

An artist whose works feature in the Eastern Southland Gallery will have his story told through film.

The documentary Signed, Theo Schoon will debut at the SBS St James Theatre on Saturday at 1pm.

The film follows the social and cultural landscapes of the late 1930s to Schoon’s death in 1985.

The documentary draws inspiration from Schoon’s biography and one of his touring exhibitions, “Split Level View Finder”.

Curator Jim Geddes said the gallery inherited 140 of Schoon’s art pieces.

“We know regulars who come to the gallery will know his works, but often they do not know much about him as an artist, so the documentary will be the perfect opportunity for them to gain a personal connection.”

The gallery staff were excited for the public to get to know the artist’s backstory.

After the film screening the audience could visit the gallery to view his work.

Negotiations were under way with documentary director Luit Bieringa and producer Jan Bieringa to attend the event, Mr Geddes said.

“They were very keen to come here and wanted to promote the film and have a Q&A after the screening. So that will be hosted here [Eastern Southland Gallery] after the screening at the theatre,” Mr Geddes said.

Gore was the smallest place which would feature the screening.

He believed it was important for people to see the film as it was about New Zealand art.

“Schoon knew a lot about the South Pacific and the cultures of the South Pacific and a lot of his works incorporate Maori designs.”