Ten Days to Paint the Forest
Ten Days to Paint the Forest narrated by Bruce Pearson Artists for Nature Foundation & Auger Films Ltd 2004 £17.99p +P&P [but £15 inclusive to Fatbirder browsers] See: http://www.dryforest.co.uk (Cash, cheques or PayPal only) mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
An international group of artists [including, Lars Jonnson, Bruce Pearson, Denis Clavreul, Kim Atkinson, Iraida Cano, Vadim Gorbatov, Darren Woodhead, Charles Donker, Wolfgang Weber and Barry Van Dusen] have just ten days to paint the dry forest of Peru and its many endemic birds, mammals and other fauna… and this excellent DVD documents that endeavour very well indeed giving us a great insight into the interests, techniques, style and personalities of a number of the artists involved in the truly international brigade.
This is, for anyone interested in bird art, fascinating in itself and those of us with fist-like hands whose artistry is restricted to being a spectator can only gasp in awe at the lightening sketches of Lars Jonnson which capture jizz like no one else alive or the fine detail of Vadim Gorbatov’s painting seemingly effortlessly covering a canvas in minutes [not someone whose work I know but surely one I will now seek out]. Their patience is in itself absorbing as it pays dividends as snakes stalk hummingbirds or spectacled bears try to break into unripe mangos.
If this DVD were just about these artists and their sojourn it would be enough but it is much more than that. The film documents the conservation efforts of a poor community trying to return a fragile over-exploited forest back into the haven for animals which is almost unrivalled in its diversity and endemics, which it should be. This is a conservation model which not only could but MUST be copied if such habitats are to endure. It is only by enlisting such communities and enabling them to farm sustainable and respect the wild world that much of the most endangered habitats can survive population pressure and slash and burn subsistence farming of the poor city dwellers who return to the country in search of their own salvation.
For us bird lovers there is plenty of footage of Spatuletail Hummingbirds, White-edged Orioles, White-winged Guan and the rest of the avian cast, some endemic and endangered, some more commonplace escaping northern winter. Watching the guan calling its croaks territorially or thousands of swifts coming in to roost in one hollow tree is spectacle enough and every glimpsed jewel is a joy.
I was left uplifted, informed, and imbued with the desire to conserve – what more can one say in praise of this important film. I can only wish it gets a wider airing and people buy the book based on the artists’ work. At times the filming is a little shaky and amateurish but this alone should not stop an enterprising TV producer from giving it airtime! I recommend it to you and fervently hope to see it in a TV schedule before too long.
Created: 05th Feb 2006