Henry Glassie: Field Work


Please note: This event took place in April 2021

Pat Collins
105 mins, Subtitled, 2019, Ireland

A magisterial portrait of renowned American folklorist and ethnologist, Henry Glassie, now in his seventies.

Over the last 50 years the celebrated American folklorist Henry Glassie has been writing in-depth studies of communities and their art. His work encompasses the people and folklore of his native southern states; from the sublime vocal purity of Ola Belle Reed whom he befriended and recorded in the sixties, to the potters, sculptors, metal workers, gilders and painters of sacred art in Brazil, the ceramic masters and the women rug makers and weavers of Turkey to the story tellers and singers of Ballymenone on the Northern Irish border.

The process of making something out of raw materials is luminously manifested in sequences which reflect the actual real time process of making, of the work of hands, and of the close attention the artist is bringing to the work. The documentary lovingly showcases how, in Glassie’s words, the creative act brings a fulfilment of what it is to be human...