American sculptor James Surls may very well be an artist at an end of an era — his venerable methods for creating sculpture head toward extinction as computer design further infiltrates the visual art world. The documentary The House, The Hand and the Hatchet follows Surls through 2015 as he tirelessly works to create new large-scale bronze, steel and wooden sculptures and travels around the world to install them. The film depicts not only a slice of Surls’s life but also a glimpse into the psychology behind his monumental artwork and the legacy he hopes to leave behind.
“As always, I must ask questions of myself. What do I do with what I feel, sense, or believe? What do I slot my beliefs in…. a truth that has no proof other than what I give it from my own experience? Why am I confident in the reality of something that cannot be touched or seen, yet it is upon me as surely as the air I breathe?”
Learn about James Surls
There are those in the world in the highest of learned positions who would ask, “of what truth and of which and of whose truth do you speak? As an artist James would answer all by saying simply, “my truth”. James Surls is an artist, a philosopher and a storyteller. Drawing and sculpture are his language. Modernism is his grammar: While James Surls’ work is a narrative (and highly autobiographical), the methods he uses to express himself visually challenges the techniques of traditional storytelling.
It is this combination of personal narrative mediated by modernist methods that makes Surls a sculptor and draftsman like no other artist working today.
Learn more about Austin
Olympus Trailblazer and award-winning filmmaker and photographer Austin Lottimer got his start making action films using his father’s camera when he was six. At 16 he landed his first professional gig as a sound and camera operator for Good Time Golf, a FOX Sports travel golf adventure television series.
In 2014, Austin transitioned into a new company he co-founded, Trine Films. Today, he continues to direct and DP numerous commercials, events, documentaries, short films and industrials.
Learn more about Maitland
Award-winning filmmaker Maitland Lottimer fell in love with film at an early age shooting short films and stop motion animations with a home camera. This piqued his interest in filmmaking as a career and propelled him into his first film job as a sound and boom operator for Good Time Golf, a FOX Sports travel golf adventure television series.
Mr. Lottimer has been involved in the production, sale and distribution of media, film and TV projects for the past 40 years. During this time he has been involved with more than 70 theatrical productions on stages from Europe to Los Angeles and the production and development of film and television projects with Disney, MGM, Columbia, CBS, Warner Bros., Paramount, Orion, Lorimar and FOX.
Learn more about Barclay
Mr. Lottimer received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, an associates degree in business at Champlain Business College in Burlington, VT, as well as studied psychology and law at the University of Vermont, and Santa Monica College.