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THE ART OF JOY BROWN

In The Art of Joy Brown, filmmaker Montes-Bradley follows the artist as she designs and executes a mural commissioned by the Horokan Museum in Amami Oshima, Japan. In the process of making a documentary film, a world of clay and terracotta figures emerges from the hands of a dedicated group working towards a common goal. At the center of it is a kiln built by the artist in the ancient anagama tradition. The kiln is the protagonist and keeper of a delicate equilibrium where fire and hearth work in perfect harmony to produce timeless works of art. At the helm of the kiln is Joy Brown, a prolific American artist with deep roots in China and Japan, where two generations of missionary parents and grandparents laid the groundwork for a genuinely cosmopolitan vision. 

 

That vision, supported by a network of collaborators, takes ten days to allow the ceramic pieces inside the kiln under intense fire need to become unique works of art. It is a collective effort. For some, this is not their first rodeo; for others, this is an experience they've been waiting for years. It's a seamless ritual; every eight hours, a new team of "guardians" moves in to replace those already there, thus ensuring continuity in the process. They are delighted to be there; they have been waiting a year to take on that responsibility. Few are neighbors; several come from distant places. It's almost a religious experience, in which the idea that it takes a village gains an entirely new meaning. 

In The Art of Joy Brown, filmmaker Montes-Bradley follows the artist as she designs and executes a mural commissioned by the Horokan Museum in Amami Ōshima, Japan. In the process of making a documentary film, a world of clay and terracotta figures emerges from the hands of a dedicated group working towards a common goal. At the center of it is a kiln built by the artist in the ancient anagama tradition. The kiln is the protagonist and keeper of a delicate equilibrium where fire and hearth work in perfect harmony to produce timeless works of art. At the helm of the kiln is Joy Brown, a prolific American artist with deep roots in China and Japan, where two generations of missionary parents and grandparents laid the groundwork for a genuinely cosmopolitan vision. 

THE ART OF JOY BROWN

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DOCUMENTARY FILM FUND

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