"You're going back to animation after this, right?" a voice asks over the hammering coming from behind a whimsical house facade on the second floor of the ASU Art Museum.
A small neighborhood of white houses lines the three walls of the room; In the center is a darker, more elaborate house with a Who-ville-esque roof. It's a recreation of Leonard Wood's Kentucky home, and it's taken artist and filmmaker Brent Green and his crew three weeks to install.
Prior to diving into his first feature film, Green experimented with illustrated, stop-motion films and wood work. When Green's friend learned about Wood's story -- an older Kentucky store clerk and religious fanatic who built a house, or healing machine, in an attempt to save his wife from cancer -- he knew Green would be up for the storytelling challenge. His friend was right.
Read more about Green's project (with a trailer) after the jump ...
Green left his barn in Pennsylvania, bound for Kentucky in a search for Leonard Wood. He found the house abandoned -- Leonard had to sell it to pay the retirement home bills after his wife died. It was full of oddities, trinkets and puzzles.
Green says it was "pure chaos." He listened to Wood's self-recorded musical tapes he found in a box, thumbed through letters, and stood in awe of a painted glass window behind the kitchen. Then, he decided he would try to rebuild it.
"It's a great tragedy that we usually let stories like this -- every day stories -- slide by," says Green. "I had to try to tell Leonard's story."
The result is "Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then" -- a title Green says he came up with out of his own love for sentences that are both intensely positive and intensely negative.
After he finished filming, Green was asked to bring his film and his set on the road. ASU Art Museum
is the set's first museum installation. When we stopped in to talk with Green, he only had three more days until the installation would be unveiled to the public.
While he's hosted a few classes and students stopping in between classes, Green will be at the ASU Art Museum on Friday, September 3, to host a gallery talk at 11 a.m. and share a performance from 4 to 6 p.m..
The exhibition will remain open during museum hours through December 31.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
(And if you're a stop-motion film fan, Green will be returning to the museum on Oct. 9 and 10 for a October for an animation workshop. Check back with us and the ASU Art Museum website for more details ...)
Here's the feature's trailer: