Manhattan, New York City, New York County, New York, United States, North and Central America
This 16mm black and white film is a short film exploring the work and methodology of acclaimed African American sculptor Inge Hardison. The film, made relatively early in her career, details her working processes with clay, bronze, and wire.
The 16mm, black-and-white film serves as a short introduction to the work and methodology of acclaimed African American sculptor Inge Hardison. The film, made relatively early in her career, details her working processes with clay, bronze, and wire. The camera largely focuses on her hands, although there are also some shots that include her full body and the model, a young girl, Hardison's daughter, Yolande. The jazz music soundtrack features Mal Waldron, Eric Dolphy, Ron Carter, and Toni Ross. Hortense Beveridge edited the film. There is some voiceover narration by Ossie Davis.
The film opens with close-ups of Hardison's hands as she displays some tools, cuts a piece of metal, and begins the process of making clay for sculpture. The next scene shows her hands working with metal wire and wood and using wire cutters as she twists the metal around another object. At this point in the film, the narration by Ossie Davis begins. He introduces Hardison and then the camera shot pulls back to show her working on a sculpture on a waist-high table. All of the materials from the previous scene appear to have been used in the sculpture she is working on. The camera shot returns to a close-up of her hands as she molds the clay around the wire. As she continues to work, the clay is molded into the shape of a human head, and Davis reveals that she is creating a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. The next scenes show some of her other sculpture, including one of Father John Coleman of Brooklyn, Nellie Carrington from the book Smokey Town Road written by Hardison, Elaine Atwell, and her niece Minnie Hardison. The montage of her works ends with a small full nude sculpture. The next scene shows a close-up of hands working on a sculpture of her daughter. Then the footage shows her daughter and compares her to the sculpture with sporadic narration by Davis. He then explains how she is preparing the sculpture to be made into bronze. The next scene shows her hands using pliers to work with wire. The final design shown is a man made of wire in a running position. The film ends with a montage of her hands with and without tools.