Rose Wylie studied at Folkestone and Dover School of Art, and the Royal College of Art. In 2010 she was selected to represent the UK in the Women to Watch exhibition in Washington DC; she was 76 years old. In the intervening decades Wylie’s renown has blossomed, with her work in collections such as the Tate Britain and Hammer Museum Los Angeles.
What Means Something is an unpretentious and warm insight into the two creatives on either side of the camera. Rivers documents the painter at home where she works on large-scale canvases and discrete drawings and watercolours. Through candid conversations between director and subject and observing Wylie’s process at close quarters, the audience is offered a rare insight into the process of image-making for the painter and filmmaker alike.
Ben Rivers has said of the film, “I met Rose a few years ago and we got along well. I went to visit her studio and she watched some of my films. Happily she liked them. So I asked her if I could make a film about her and she agreed. The film, finally, is a meeting between two friends.”
Film, Talks & Performances
ACMI and Fireflies Magazine Presents
What Means Something + Q&A
Ben Rivers (Two Years at Sea, A Spell To Ward off Darkness) continues his filmic investigations into creativity and solitude with a portrait of the British painter Rose Wylie.
This screening is presented in conjunction with Fireflies Magazine which celebrates the work of two extraordinary filmmakers in each edition. Issue #4 is dedicated to Portuguese director Pedro Costa and English filmmaker Ben Rivers, who will be in conversation following the screening.