Dream of a Painter| 38mins
Director: Sudheer Gupta | Producer: Sarjana Films
Focus Years: 2011 | Country: India
"There used to be a first class football team working underground in the coal pits, but they had no way of expressing their talent."
In the northeast U.K. in the small coastal town of Seaham lived Robert Ord Page. His forefathers worked in the coal mines there. At 12, Robert dreamed of being a painter, but by 14 he started working. All his life, he worked in the undersea coal seams, with a short break at sea during the second world war.
Robert went back to school after retiring from the pits at 70, then went on to Durham University for an art degree, where he painted his memories of the mines and the sea, and had a full family life throughout his life. Margaret Thatcher closed down all the mines in the 1980s and early '90s.
The filmmaker of this documentary met Robert when he was 87-years-old in 2009 and on blood transfusions. Six months later, Robert passed away leaving behind hundreds of wonderful paintings from memory and an account of his life in the form of this personal documentary film.
Robert was a compulsive dreamer, a working-class painter like the Pitman and Spennymore, also painters of the northeast U.K.
This is the first and only film, a personal documentary, about the painter Robert Ord Page, shown to his family, friends, and townspeople in 2011 in a special screening at the Christ Church in Seaham. This screening was the best reward and provided great satisfaction to the filmmaker.