18 June — 21 August, 2011
Circle of Memory
Eleanor Coppola took part in a remembrance ceremony at a passage tomb in Ireland which affected her profoundly. (The son of Eleanor and Francis Coppola died in an accident in 1986.) In this multi-media installation, Circle of Memory, she and five other artists reinterpreted a passage tomb.
a universal place of remembrance
Instead of building the structure of stones as the original is, it is made of straw bales. At the center is a circular room for reflection. Visitors from around the world are invited to write messages on slips of paper and insert them into the straw.
The Circle of Memory includes a photo exhibition of the stones (actual size) that surround a passage tomb and here encircle this contemporary interpretation. It is constructed from over 500 bales of straw and will evolve with the addition of visitors’ messages left in the straw. The installation is intended to inspire recalling and celebrating the memory of children who have died or disappeared. At this time when our culture often does not provide a place to reflect on our losses, Eleanor Coppola and her artist collaborators hope Circle of Memory will provide a universal place of remembrance.
Circle of Memory has previously been exhibited in Saltzburg, Austria; Montpellier, France; and Oakland, Santa Fe and San Diego, USA.
Artists involved in the exhibition:
Eleanor Coppola, original concept and development
Richard Beggs (an Academy Award® winning sound designer), concept development and sound design
Robilee Frederick, concept development and translucent curtain
Elizabeth Macdonald, concept development, architecture and spatial design
Jean McMann, concept development, texts, photographs
Alexander V. Nichols, concept development, lighting and construction
About Eleanor Coppola
Eleanor Coppola (born 1936) is an accomplished documentary filmmaker, artist, and costume designer. In 1962, she worked on a low-budget independent film, Dementia 13, as assistant art director. There she met the film’s writer/director Francis Coppola. The following year, Francis and Eleanor were married.
While in the Philippines for the making of Apocalypse Now, Eleanor shot the documentary footage for the acclaimed, Emmy award winning film, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse. She published a journal of her experiences in 1979, titled Notes. During the 1995 filming of John Grisham’s The Rainmaker, Eleanor shot a documentary that focused on Coppola’s techniques for working with actors, The Making of The Rainmaker which aired on HBO.
She has made documentaries of her daughter Sofia’s and son Roman’s films – The Making of the Virgin Suicides, On the Set of CQ and The Making of Marie Antoinette. In 2007 her documentary about Francis Coppola, Coda: Thirty Years Later was released. She shot documentary material for the DVD of Tetro, released in 2010. Eleanor’s memoir Notes on a Life was published in 2008.
Eleanor Coppola has designed costumes and stage décor for the ODC Dance Company San Francisco and her drawings, photos and conceptual art pieces have been exhibited in many galleries and museums.
Eleanor is active in the management of Rubicon Estate Winery. She is a past member of the board of the San Francisco Art Institute and an honorary board member of The Napa Valley Art Museum.
The exhibition is produced in collaboration with Malle Jensen Productions