Friday, 23 August 2013

Sean Edwards - Portrait (for a screenplay) of Beth Harmon

Sean Edwards Portrait (for a screenplay) of Beth Harmon
Exhibition image for 2009 show at Limoncello, London

Richard Bevan Chess Club 2012
Installation view, Limoncello, 2009
In this ongoing project artist Sean Edwards invites artists, curators, writers, musicians and actors to read Walter Tevis' 1983 novel The Queen's Gambit and to produce a work in response to it. The novel follows the life Beth Harmon, an orphaned child who is discovered to be a chess prodigy, from the age of 8 through to adulthood. The novel was praised for the accuracy of its portrayals of the professional chess circuit and the internal workings of the mind of a chess player. Harmon has a lucid and almost visual sense of the powers the pieces exude over the board as she moves them into place. 

Chess, and in particular children playing the game, are a recurring image in Edwards' work. He sees this project as a way to expand the life of this fascinating character beyond the 243 pages of the novel. The resulting works are studies - sketches towards a final work that may never be realised.

SaraMackillop String Piece 2009
The screenplay of this novel has had a troubled past; numerous failed attempts have been made to turn the novel into a film but never has it come to fruition. Most recently Heath Ledger had been working on it as his directorial debut at the time of his death in 2008.