Make Your Own Damn Art: The World of Bob and Roberta Smith

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Heavenly films present…

Make Your Own Damn Art: The World of Bob and Roberta Smith

+ Q&A with the director John Rogers, and musical performances by Bob and Roberta Smith and Jessica Voorsanger

To coincide with the realise of Bob and Roberta Smith’s debut single, Heavenly Films is proud to present John Rogers’ wonderful documentary Make Your Own Damn Art. Shot over three years, Rogers’ film offers a unique insight into the creative practices of one of Britain’s most outstanding and outspokenly political artists. Bob and Roberta Smith (the moniker under which the painter and musician Patrick Brill produces his work), is renowned for his humorous, opinionated, polemical pieces. Making use of text painted on canvases, made into signs, printed in newspapers and sung in songs, his art makes statements about free expression, embracing the idea that the arts themselves are a human right.

Enjoying a unique position within the contemporary art world as an outsider who is also a Trustee of the Tate Gallery, Smith is passionately committed to the idea that art is vital part of democracy and that art itself must be democratic. Among his best known works are Make Art Not War (Tate-1997), When Donald Judd Comes to our Place (1997) and the controversial Letter to Michael Gove (2011), a letter to the then UK Secretary of State for Education reprimanding him for the “destruction of Britain’s ability to draw, design and sing”.

The screening will be accompanied by a Q&A and a performance by Bob and Roberta Smith and Jessica Voorsanger of material from their debut single ARTISTS RUIN IT, produced by the legendary Tot Taylor and released on David Camp’s new The Campus label.

Its A side, ARTISTS RUIN IT is a fast-spun punky skank, and a noisy demonstration of rebellion which features Jessica Voorsanger on joint lead vocals, while the B-side of the record leaves space for the listener to make their own ‘DIY’ version and post it back to the artists.

Copies of the record will be on sale on the night and there will be a signing session after the screening.

BBFC rating
Running time
75 mins
Other features
John Rogers

Book tickets

November 15th

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