For Monty Bassett, documentary film-maker and producer from Smithers, making a documentary about Canadian artist Ted Harrison was a natural fit.
Bassett first met Harrison, an English immigrant to the Yukon, about 15 years ago when he wrote an article about the artist for Arrowsmith Magazine.
Then, a few years ago, at the request of Harrison biographer, Katherine Gibson, Bassett agreed to produce a documentary on the life of Harrison.
“Working with Ted was a joy,” Bassett said of the film, entitled, Land of the Chartreuse Moose: the Life and Legacy of Ted Harrison, that took two years to complete.
“It’s wall to wall fun.”
An experienced film-maker, Bassett sought inspiration in Harrison’s iconic painting style while putting the documentary together.
“We tried to tell his story in the Harrison style,” Bassett said.
In addition to some visual effects, following the Harrison style meant there is a healthy dollop of humour in the movie and some laughs at the expense of the Canadian art establishment.
Harrison’s style of painting came after his first attempt at painting a Yukon landscape.
He complained he could not paint in the Yukon because the landscape dictated his painting and vowed to develop a new style of painting.
A veteran of World War Two, Harrison vowed he would never paint anything that wasn’t joyous and that sentiment influenced his career as a painter.
The documentary covers Harrison’s early years and travels to the South Pacific before settling into his first forays into the art world with his new style of painting and how it led to a life-long passion for the Yukon.
“He has a way of capturing the essence of what he sees,” Bassett said to describe Harrison’s style of painting.
“He paints rhythms.”
The movie is also an opportunity for Basset to showcase talent from Smithers and environs, including Taylor Fox who filmed and edited the movie and Jordy Walker who worked on the sound for the movie.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, available at the door.