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An image of Seán Hillen

Film: Tomorrow is Saturday at Galway Film Fleadh

8 Jul 2020, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm (Past)

Galway Film Fleadh

Tomorrow Is Saturday’ is an intimately revealing portrait of Newry-born artist Seán Hillen: collagist, photomontagist, inventor, polymath, conspiracy theorist, documentary photographer, sculptor and the most heavily censored artist to come out of Britain or Ireland.

Behind a heavy metal door in a tiny Dublin terrace, Seán’s home is a chaotic floor to ceiling jumble of bric-a-brac, plastic boxes filled with defunct electronics, junk, unfinished artwork, photographs, magazines, leaflets and postcards – the unruly legacy of a lifetime’s collecting.

Diagnosed with Aspergers late in life, Seán’s surroundings mirror both his trademark collage artwork and his mental state. Here he lives, sleeping on an unusable sofa bed with barely enough space to move, a shrine on the wall to Amy – his American paramour, with whom he communicates online but has so far never met.

As he awaits Amy’s imminent arrival of, Seán recounts his life to date in vivid detail, starting with his memories of an idyllic home life and adoring parents captured in home movies, set against the dystopic backdrop of the Troubles. At age 17, he began to document what he saw, photographing images considered at that time to be too stark and raw for publication. Bitterly disappointed, he threw the negatives into a plastic bag where they remained for over a decade before being resurrected for an exhibition in the National Library of Ireland.

This collection – ‘Melancholy Witness’ – is a valuable record of a time that Ireland has struggled to come to terms with. Now, we bring this body of work to a new generation for whom the Troubles that shaped this island have had little relevance.

Since his time at art college in London, Seán has exhibited widely in museums and galleries north and south of the border. As a complex and subversive social commentator, his compulsion to ‘fix the world through art’ would lead to IRELANTIS (1994-1997) – a playful photomontage series using John Hind postcards to poke fun at Irish mythology.

Seán has amassed an incredible record of Irish life; 30 years of living history is scattered on the floor, strewn across chairs, jostling for space on tables. But even he admits that things have come to a head. As the date of Amy’s arrival draws closer, he embarks on a massive declutter with the support of friends, attempting to bring order to his life. But as he unearths 30 years of memories, he remains hamstrung by his inability to let go.

Followed by Q + A with Seán Hillen, director Gillian Marsh and co-director Gretta Ohle.

Documentary, Biography
Duration: 1h 27m
Rent: €7.50

Galway Film Fleadh is a weeklong international film festival held each July in Galway, Ireland. Now in its 32nd year, the central goal of the Galway Film Fleadh remains unchanged: to be a platform for the boldest new films and to bring audiences and filmmakers from around the world together to share in the wonder of cinema.


#visual art
Artists with disabilities
Galway Film Fleadh