Dreams and Passions of Tom McKendrick

Artist and sculptor Tom McKendrick grew up in the shipbuilding town of Clydebank near Glasgow, Scotland. Submarine was the name of his multi-media exhibition in Glasgow in 1990, and in this documentary he explains his childhood obsession with a device that could 'goe under water unto the bottome and come up again at your plaisure' (as it was described in 1578) and with its development into the deadly weapon of today. The submarine relies on invisibility; it operates by stealth. 'These things are really ugly but that's part of their attraction for me. They're powerful and they're brutal and they're vulnerable at the same time.'

Clydebank was almost completely destroyed by bombing in 1941, and McKendrick's artistic vision was shaped by a community scarred physically and emotionally. He left school at fifteen to start work in the world-famous John Brown's shipyard, becoming a 'loftsman,' a trade now obsolete, but as the yard experienced its final death-throes, in common with Clydebank shipbuilding as a whole, McKendrick moved on to the Glasgow School of Art. He is now an artist of international importance, with paintings on display all over the world.


'...exceptional quality' Scotsman, Edinburgh

'An artistic triumph ... gives the fleeting impression of other people's lives passing before your eyes' Glasgow Herald


Best Film, Nova Scotia
Best Portrait, Montreal


Director: Mark Littlewood
Narrator/Participant: Tom McKendrick
Original music: John Russell: Tom McKendrick

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Catalog number #639

52 minutes Color

Age Range: 12 to Adult

Closed Captions and Interactive Transcript

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