Nova Studios

In the latter half of the 20th century, Paul Burwell was a central figure in British avant-garde art and music – alongside the life of this unique artist runs the story of art, performance and magick exploring the far reaches of creative endeavour - a metaphorical journey into a heart of darkness.


Nova Studios

Paul Burwell Documentary

Featuring contributions from some of this country's foremost artists, film-makers, and musicians including Anne Bean, Richard Wilson, David Toop, Evan Parker, Sylvia Hallet, Carlyle Reedy, Steve Beresford, Peter Cusack, Max Eastley, Sally Potter, Jonny Easterby, Yol, Viv Corringham, Lee Merrill, Brian Gilson, Mark Anderson, Ansuman Biswas as well as many of Paul Burwell's friends and family - the film (due to be completed late 2023/24) tells the story of Burwell's role in developmentof free improvisation, performance art and sonic art from the early days of the London Musician's Collective through the industrial-scale spectacle of the Bow Gamelan and into the places where art meets magic.

COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS from Paul’s notebooks:

As a simple human being, as well as a musician, researcher, social

animal and anthropologist, I cleave to a sense of identification and loss

of ego. BUT there is another part —the more separate part, the part

that sees life as a strange dream-like adventure and by dreamlike I

mean vivid, intense and sometimes frightening that makes me question

everything and doesn’t allow satisfaction with anything. Commonality

becomes a constraining cliché, a place of lack of imagination, the

sheeplike quality of human thought against which you must hurl

yourself to create something new, no matter how paltry of your own.……

THE WAY FORWARD: (or if not forward, at least SOMEWHERE ELSE) Thinking of Art as a kind of lateral thinking skill, art as intervention, of

approaching the notion of changing the rules, standing things on their

head, re-examining the basic tenets of any arena of enquiry or

discipline. Being able to put not only pre-conceived notions in their

place, but to be prepared to tamper with the most dearly held tenets of

any discipline. (PB 1976)

Courtesy of Anne Bean