by MATTHEW EELES
PERTH filmmakers Mat de Koning and Brooke Silcox want the public to help them finish their documentary on gifted artist Matt Doust, who tragically died in 2013.
29 Years Eight Days will explore the life of Doust, a hyper-realist portrait painter who died aged 29 following an epileptic seizure, just two weeks before his highly-anticipated debut show in Los Angeles.
Doust was born in Santa Monica, California but grew up in Perth.
“Matt Doust was my best friend,” de Koning told the Voice.
“Making this documentary has been hard, emotionally. I look back through this footage as I am editing and I think of what could have been. Brooke also knew Matt and this is a very personal project – an ode to a very dear friend of ours.”
Doust was a finalist in the 2011 Archibald Prize for his portrait of Perth-born actress Gemma Ward.
She and other members of the Perth arts community, including street artist Stormie Mills and musicians Joe McKee and Lindsay Troy, share stories about their eccentric friend in the doco.
The filmmakers are looking for donations to fund the latest stage of the production, which includes editing over 16 years’ worth of footage.
“How would you feel if you were left holding the legacy of your best friend in your hands? It’s a hugely daunting task I am confronted with and I want to do it right,” de Koning said.
Silcox has been working closely with Doust’s mother, Lynn, to catalogue the artist’s work for the documentary.
“Lynn and I spent a lot of evenings and weekends over more than four years transcribing the poetry and writings in his journals and scanning his unseen sketches to collect over 5000 assets,” Silcox told the Voice.
“Now that we have this incredible work catalogued we want to share it with the world.”
Silcox and de Koning won awards for their debut feature Meal Tickets, a warts-and-all documentary about the rollercoaster journey of Perth band Screwtop Detonators.
Donations towards 29 Years Eight Days can be made at http://www.documentaryaustralia.com.au
by MATTHEW EELES