Working away in a paint-encrusted studio with Hendrix cranked up to 10, often going days without sleep, Philip Clairmont was the archetypal tortured expressionist. Bruce Morrison and Hamish Keith's documentary explores Clairmont's chaotic bohemian abode in Mount Eden, a house populated by the found objects and abandoned furniture that would inspire his dense, hallucinatory images. At one point the camera fixes on a single lino print that reads "art is my life". One would eventually consume the other — three years after this was filmed, Clairmont committed suicide at the age of 34.
I knew I wanted to be a painter or a bullfighter (and) nothing else.– Philip Clairmont
Made in association with Television New Zealand and the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council