Penny Slinger: Out Of The Shadows is the incredible, untold story of the British artist Penny Slinger and the traumatic events that led to the creation of her masterpiece, the 1977 photo-romance, An Exorcism. Coming-of-age against a back drop of post-war austerity and the subsequent explosion of colour that characterized the 1960s counter-culture, Penny Slinger embraced her generation's quest for personal freedom and sexual liberation, and channelled these desires into her ground-breaking collages, films and sculptures. So powerful was her vision that 50 years later her work is still influencing contemporary artists.
"I wanted to create art that recreated a state of mind," she explains. "To be my own muse." To achieve this, Penny Slinger resuscitated Surrealism, instilling it with a radical, feminine perspective that led Rolling Stone to write of her first book, 50% The Visible Woman (1971) - "This is a major work - surely to become as ubiquitous as Sergeant Pepper in the culture." As the respected curator and academic Anke Kemper observes, "Penny Slinger could have become very, very famous." History played out differently though and by the 1980s Penny Slinger had "disappeared".
Richard Kovitch's film documents Slinger's story for the first time, immersing the viewer in the 1960s counter-culture, and exploring why such a significant body of work could slip from popular memory. It consults her key collaborators, including the radical film makers Peter Whitehead and Jack Bond, and considers her relationship with the acclaimed, feminist playwright Jane Arden and the controversial film they made together, The Other Side Of The Underneath (1972) - shockingly, the only British feature film to have been directed by a woman in the 1970s. The respected critics Michael Bracewell and Maxa Zoller help us understand Slinger's extraordinary output, while the Turner Nominated artists Jane and Louise Wilson explain why she is finally enjoying long overdue recognition from both the art world and a new generation of artists. Propelled by an original, hypnotic soundtrack by Psychological Strategy Board, Richard Kovitch's film consolidates this renaissance, bringing Penny Slinger "Out Of The Shadows" and presenting it anew for a contemporary audience.
It will have a limited theatrical run from June 28th and then be released on Blu-ray in the Autumn, the disc will come with art cards, essays and extras. Try the trailer at the link.