Len Lye <em>Colour Flight</em> 1938. Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation, from material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Len Lye Colour Flight 1938. Courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation, from material preserved and made available by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

DVD of Len Lye's films award winner

05 Jul 2017

The DVD 'Colour Box: 19 Films by Len Lye' has won Best Single Release at the II Cinema Ritrovato awards, one of the world’s major festivals of film restoration.

Il Cinema Ritrovato (Cinema Rediscovered) is a festival dedicated to the rediscovery of rare and little-known films with a particular focus on cinema origins and the silent movie period.

Founded in Italy in 1986, Il Cinema Ritrovato is an annual highlight in a cinephile’s world.  This year’s edition presents 500 films from 65 archives, newly restored copies of well-known classics and also rediscovered rare films.

II Cinema Ritrovato DVD Awards 2017 juror Mark McElhatten wrote:

'Poet, philosopher, inventor, total artist Len Lye was a personality as exuberant and colorful as his films. He was a coalsman on a steamer, a postal worker, an adopted member of a Maori tribal community, a lecturer in New York. Lye was pioneer of kinetic sculpture ("Tangibles"), direct drawing and painting on film.

Most of Lye's commercial public service commissions were as wildly imaginative as his personal projects. He was a mentor to Jack Smith (another one of the greatest colorists of cinema) and an influence on Stan Brakhage and many younger experimental filmmakers of our present century. His amazing work had key periods of exposure, then became unseen if not forgotten. Fortunately in the last few years there have been some fine exhibitions and publications devoted to Lye. Most essential is this DVD issued by the Len Lye Foundation of New Zealand that includes 19 films from 1929 to 1980. Our DVD of the year.'

Len Lye Curator Paul Brobbel: “Our product is a longstanding ambition and long overdue. With the 2015 redevelopment of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery to include the new Len Lye Centre we intended to put Len Lye’s work as a filmmaker centre stage. With a dedicated cinema along with other exhibition spaces, our visitors can experience Lye’s experimental films, however, we recognise the need to expand our publishing in order to reach international audiences, particularly with regards to scholarship and in this case, a definitive collection of Lye’s films on DVD. A number of our exhibitions and publications have been finalists in international awards and we are pleased with the worldwide interest in Colour Box: 19 Films by Len Lye."

“While this project is particular to our work with the artist Len Lye, and part of our role in fully exploring his practice, the process of producing Colour Box: 19 Films by Len Lye leads us to further ambitions in publishing moving image materials, particularly in collaboration with international partners.

Colour Box: 19 Films by Len Lye is a collaborative project from the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, Len Lye Foundation and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. For more info on the DVD, see our news release here.

Purchase your copy from the Govett-Brewster Shop and online at govettbrewster.com for NZ$30.


More awards and accolades for the contemporary art museum:

2017       Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre highlighted as ‘a deliciously offbeat new gallery’ in the world’s largest independent guide book publisher Lonely Planet announcement of Taranaki as the 2nd best region in the world to visit in its Best in Travel 2017 publication

2017        Property Industry Awards 2017 – Best in Category Warren and Mahoney Civic and Arts Property Award – Len Lye Centre and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (New Plymouth)

2017        Clelands Construction Limited won gold at the New Zealand Commercial Project Awards 2017 for the Len Lye Centre project

2016       Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre won gold for Large Brand Identity at Designers Institute Best Design Awards

2016       Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre finalist in Australian Graphic Design Awards

2016       Len Lye Centre a finalist in the Culture Category of the World Architecture Festival Awards

2016       Len Lye Centre named the Best Creative Place in the LGNZ Creative New Zealand Excellence Awards

2011       Big ‘A’ Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2011 to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery for going to extraordinary lengths to become more accessible to the disabled community

2009       The Governors’ Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, for its commitment to contemporary art

2005       Creative New Zealand awarded the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery the Premier Award for its strategic plan, as well as the Arts Provision: District Councils category, for the 2005 Creative Places Awards