The Spiritual Journey of Lawren Harris
“I’m searching for the summit of my soul, up there, where the universe sings.”
“Art is a bridge between the great moral harmony of the universe, and our own souls. What I want is for my paintings to be models of that harmony, reflections of an ordered, spiritual, and creative universe.” – Lawren Harris
(Co-founder and leader of the legendary Group of Seven, Lawren Harris has become the most valued artist in Canadian history. His canvasses routinely sell at auction for several million dollars. Who was this curious man and why was he so determined to battle the critics and paint a radical new vision of Canada with bold brush strokes and brilliant colours? Where the Universe Sings: The Spiritual Journey of Lawren Harris from Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Raymont and artist/producer and first-time director Nancy Lang will broadcast to Ontario audiences on TVO, Saturday June 25 at 9pm EST in its one-hour format, and will be available across Canada on tvo.org beginning the following day. Alternate viewing on TVO Sunday June 26 at 11pm, and Thursday June 30 at 9pm and midnight.
World Broadcast Premiere June 25th 9pm EST on TVO
An intimate portrait of Canada’s most renowned artist, Where the Universe Sings is the most comprehensive film on Harris to date. It features over 130 of his paintings, dozens of previously un-seen photographs and 8mm family films, plus works by those who influenced him, including Van Gogh, Cezanne, Gauguin, Kandinsky, Emily Carr and Georgia O’Keeffe.
Directed by: Nancy Lang & Peter Raymont
Colm Feore as the voice of Lawren Harris
Eric Peterson as the voice of A.Y. Jackson
In addition to rare archival footage (some of which was shot by Harris himself), Where the Universe Sings is told through interviews with the top Harris experts including actor/comedian Steve Martin, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Andrew Hunter, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Ian Thom, curator and former Globe art critic Sarah Milroy, biographer Peter Larisey, author Dennis Reid, curator Roald Nasgaard, collector Ash Prakash, author Lisa Christensen of Heffels and Harris’ grandchildren Stew Sheppard and Toni Chowne.
The film is the directorial debut for filmmaker Nancy Lang. Previously, Lang led the research and co-produced West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson and Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven. She also produced West Wind’s companion interactive website, www.tomthomsonart.ca. An exhibited artist, Lang is the force behind the book At The Ojibway: 100 Summers on Georgian Bay, by David McFarlane.
Secret Location, the award-winning content creation company for emerging platforms, is creating a Bell Fund companion website and augmented reality mobile app to Where the Universe Sings which allows audiences to experience the process and intimacy between Harris and his paintings. The app and website will be available in September.
An exhibition of Harris’ work “The Idea of North” opens at the Art Gallery of Ontario on July 1, 2016, co-curated by Steve Martin and the AGO’s Andrew Hunter.
Where the Universe Sings is produced by Peter Raymont and Nancy Lang. Jane Jankovic is TVO’s Executive Producer Documentaries and Linda Fong is the Independent Production Officer for TVO. Bruce Cowley is Creative Head for documentary Channel.
Where the Universe Sings is produced by White Pine Pictures in association with TVO, documentary Channel, and YES TV with the participation of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the Rogers Group of Funds, The Bell Fund and the Canada Media Fund.
About White Pine Pictures (whitepinepictures.com)
White Pine Pictures is an independent Canadian film, television, and new media production company based in Toronto, Canada. Headed by award-winning filmmaker, Peter Raymont, the company has produced over 100 films, including the Emmy Award-winning feature documentary Shake Hands With The Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire, two Oscar- shortlisted features; A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman, and Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould. White Pine is also the producer of the award-winning TV drama series The Border (38 episodes), and Cracked (21 episodes) created for the CBC and sold worldwide including France, Germany, and the USA.
Nancy is co-producer and researcher of West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson. She also produced West Wind’s companion interactive website, tomthomsonart.ca, and is working to ensure the film and website are a resource for educators and galleries across Canada. She published At the Ojibway: 100 Summers on Georgian Bay, written by David Macfarlane, and was co-founder of The Toronto History Project, an initiative to advance a deeper appreciation of the history of Toronto. Lang is a graduate of The Ontario College of Art. She painted and exhibited for 15 years.
Filmmaker, journalist, writer, activist, Peter Raymont has produced and directed over 100 films and TV series during his 41 year career. His films have taken him to Ethiopia, Nicaragua, India, Rwanda, Chile, the High Arctic and throughout North America and Europe.
Raymont’s films have received 50 international awards including 2 Oscar shortlists, 13 Gemini Awards (45 nominations), several Gold and Silver Hugos, The Sesterce d’Argent and other international honours. His documentary feature, Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire received the 2007 Emmy for Best Documentary & the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
White Pine Pictures – http://www.whitepinepictures.com