Film ID:
NEFA 10989

A RICHER LIFE: CORNISH AND SARGENT

c.1965

Visitor Tabs

Description

An incomplete edition of the Tyne Tees Television arts programme A Richer Life following artists Norman Cornish and Gary Sargent. In the first part of the programme Norman Cornish works in his studio at his home in Spennymoor and sketches the men inside a local public house. The film also intercuts views of miners at the Dean and Chapter Colliery where Norman was a miner. The second part of film follows Gary Sargent as he sketches industrial scenes around his home in Durham. The film also shows him working in his studio which is also in his house.  Through-out the programme both artists discuss their artistic processes and in the case of Norman Cornish miners talk about what they think of his art.  

The film begins with a montage of images that forms part of the opening titles.

Norman Cornish sits in a public house sketching a man who wears a flat cap. This is followed by Gary Sargent working on a piece of art in his studio in Durham.

The film cuts to show various views of a Gala Mural by Norman Cornish hanging on a wall in the entrance of Durham County Hall. There are close ups of several sections of the mural including a self-portrait of Norman with his son John on his shoulders.

The film cuts to show the Dean and Chapter colliery near Ferryhill as miners walk past the camera. There are views of the back alley, chimneys and fronts of a row terraced houses.

In his studio in an upper room of his house in Spennymoor Norman Cornish works on a painting. He looks intently at the piece which is of a man standing at a bar. General view follows of another painting sitting on the floor.

The film cuts to darts hitting a darts board in a public house. Behind the bar the landlord speaks with one of his patrons. At a table nearby a group of men play dominos over their pints of beer. 

Sitting in a corner Norman Cornish draws in a scrap book a man, who is standing at the bar. On the table beside him is a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. Intercut between shots of Norman drawing are views of some of the men in the bar. One man lights a cigarette while another sips from his pint. At the bar the landlord and man seen previously continue talking. There are also views of some of the sketches Norman has made inside the pub as well as a finished painting.

The film cuts to show the top of a telegraph pole. The camera pans down as a man on a bicycle rides past along a rough track beside a fence. A smoking chimney can be seen in the background. The film cuts to a Norman Cornish sketch showing the same scene.

Another view of a different telegraph pole changes to a drawing of a man walking along a path lined with telegraph poles. A second drawing shows two men walking along another path between two fences. Another view of the telegraph pole changes to a Norman Cornish sketch of Christ on the Cross to show the similarity between the cross and the telegraph poles.

The film cuts to a view from the top of a hill looking down onto the Dean and Chapter colliery below.

In Norman’s studio a painting sits on an easel showing two bent-over miners walking towards the pit face. There are views of various drawings of miners working under ground.

A group of miners comes down at set of metal steps walking away from the mine head which can be seen in the background. The scene is intercut with a framed picture showing a similar scene.

Back in the public house there are views of a game of dominos being played intercut with a sketch of the scene. General views showing various framed pieces including a woman peeling, a boy sitting on a stool and a self-portrait. There are a number of pencil drawings of women including his daughter Ann.

General view follows of the Dean and Chapter colliery and a number of smoking chimneys. Miners come down a set of metal steps, some hold miner’s lamps, as they walk past a number of coal wagons.

The film cuts to show a large conveyor in a quarry. Artist Gary Sargent walks towards the machine holding a sketch pad. General views of the machine in operation and Gary sketching it. The film cuts to show the finished piece framed and sitting on an easel. 

A young man walks down a set of stone steps. General views show the exterior of the Stepney Hotel and the Royal Victoria public house. A pen and ink drawing shows the brickwork of a building. General views follow of a partly demolished building built near to the steps seen previously.

General views show a demolition site where Gary stands drawing the interior of a partly demolished house. A completed piece, possibly based on his sketch, sits on an easel.

In his studio at his home in Durham Gary works on a piece of board laid out on a table. He uses a piece of metal, a cloth and his fingers to scratch and alter the surface of the board as new layers of paint are added.

In the kitchen Gary’s wife makes coffee on a stove. Back in the studio there are general views showing Gary beginning to construct a piece of art on a board on an easel. He refers to his sketches which are on a table nearby. In the kitchen Gary’s wife finishes making coffee, brings it into the studio and pours her husband a cup. She leaves and there are more views of Gary working on the painting.

In another room Gary’s wife watches over two small children playing on the floor. A close up follows of the two children.

The film cuts to show a view of a large conveyor with rocks travelling along its belt intercut with a view of Gary’s finished a picture of same conveyor.

Inside the Woodman Inn public house on Gilesgate in Durham Gary buys a pint of beer from a barmaid and goes to sit with a small group of people beside a window. As he chats with those around the table he continues to work on a pen and ink drawing in a sketch pad laid out on the table. There are views of various drawing inside the pad showing the exteriors of a number of buildings and houses. The film cuts to show some finished framed pieces on easels including the partially demolished house seen previously, and a traction engine.

The film cuts to Gary walking up a spiral staircase holding a tin of paint. Hanging from the ceiling is a large commission Gary is working on showing ships moored along a quayside. General views show Gary working on the piece using large paint brushes.

In a small room Gary looks over a number of his framed pictures that are resting against a wall.

The final part of the programme is a montage of various views seen previously of Norman Cornish either painting in his studio or sketching in the pub and Gary Sargent sketching a partly demolished building

The programme ends with a montage of images over which the end titles would be shown.