The heART of the Matter
We are very happy to confirm that director Luit Bieringa will be in attendance at this session to introduce the film and to run a question and answer session after the film.
Under the leadership of a legendary director general of education, Clarence Beeby, the years immediately after World War II saw the most remarkable shifts in educational philosophy New Zealand had ever experienced.
Luit Bieringa’s documentary traces those changes and the army of men and women who worked to establish a thoroughly bicultural and arts-centred education system. Gordon Tovey, national supervisor of arts and crafts, and his team of artists and art specialists fostered the lively and colourful classrooms that New Zealand is familiar with today, in stark contrast to the rote-learning environments preceding them. Contributing art specialists ensured that aspects of Māori art such as kōwhaiwhai, kapa haka and waiata had a central place in our mainstream classrooms through in-depth consultation with Ngāti Porou kaumātua
Replete with archival interviews and little-seen footage, this film is likely to transport any Kiwi-educated boomer back to school, but its richly storied excavation of the past is as clearly pointed towards the future as once were its public-servant heroes.
“What a beautiful film you have crafted - visually rich and coherent, a terrific cast of characters who express the gamut of thought and feelings, the film is informative, funny, sad, engaging and stirs the imagination. You’ve brought to life a treasure trove; the life of an inspired individual who, through art, really did change and enrich our world . THANK YOU FOR ENRICHING MY WORLD.” Bruce Foster
Biography: Luit Bieringa
Luit has been accumulating archives on the work of Gordon Tovey since shortly before Tovey’s death in 1974, with the help of his daughter, Carol Henderson, who published a book on Tovey titled A Blaze of Colour in 1998. The 30+ years of archival accumulation of research has resulted in a comprehensive range of materials lodged in the Alexander Turnbull Library, Ngataonga Sound & Vision and Archives New Zealand. Much of the archive is made up of 10 minute 16mm Kodak colour films, produced by Gordon Tovey in collaboration with Cliff Whiting and other art specialists.
As art historian and formerly gallery director, curator and photography specialist, Luit Bieringa always wanted to tackle this collection of B & W and colour moving image, photos, correspondence etc to tell this rich story of creative education, of the remarkable army of men and women affecting the establishment of a thoroughly bicultural and arts-centred education system, over the immediate post-war decades.
Luit added filmmaking to his bow in 2006 with his documentary Ans Westra: Private Journeys/Public Signposts , commissioned by TVNZ and played in the NZ Film Festival and extensively around NZ on marae, galleries and museums.
The Man in the Hat, a portrait of the late art dealer Peter McLeavey which screened in the International Film Festival, on Television and like the Westra documentary, extensively around NZ.
The heART Of the Matter is Luit’s third film.