Sculpting tranquillity film DOCUMENTARY

Sculpting tranquility – aN INDEPENDENT film about the work of simon o’rourke

BAFTA-nominated film producer, Rakha Singh is making a film documentary about chainsaw artist, Simon O’Rourke and his work. And you can help fund it. To watch the trailer, just scroll down!


Sculpting Tranquility – The Trailer

Background to the film

Simon O’Rourke, famous for creating the Giant Hand of Vyrnwy is to have a documentary film made about him and his work. Simon was approached by BAFTA nominated film producer, Rakha Singh, earlier this year. Rakha said:

“The minute I saw Simon’s work I knew I had to make this film. We’ll be using high speed camera techniques and drone photography to bring Simon’s beautiful work to life.”

Film producer, Rakha Singh

Central to the film will be the creation of a 5m long, fire breathing dragon, with a 5m wingspan, carved from the trunk of a single tree. The dragon, to be named Tranquility (Llonwddych), is being built in the garden of Arfon Hardy, a man whose life had been altered radically after a surgeon made a catastrophic error during an operation, leaving Arfon paralysed from the waist down.  

The surgeon’s mistake, in June 2017, happened when he was undergoing a laminectomy to remove an anterior thoracic disc. Arfon had previously travelled the world, taking any opportunity to jump out of a plane, dive a coral reef (he was a master diver), or hang-glide down a mountain.

Now, wheelchair bound, Arfon wanted to create something extraordinary for his new life in the garden of his home in Gwernymynydd, near Mold. He saw some of Simon O’Rourke’s work and commissioned him immediately to build the fire breathing dragon which will be in flight, wings outstretched, mounted above the water in the middle of a lake. As he says:

Arfon Hardy

“After my first operation, I stayed in hospital for 16 months and 4 days. Most of the time in a very serious condition. Yet I have come through this and now continue to do some crazy things, even when I am told I can’t do it, I carry on until someone says yes, they will make it happen for me. And Simon said, ‘yes.’”

Arfon Hardy

Tranquility: The back story

Simon and Arfon have created a back story for their dragon which Simon has turned into a short story, The Tale of Tranquility. It tells of the dragon, Dychryn, which terrorised the people and cattle of Cymru until it was trapped and imprisoned beneath the rocks. A thousand years later it escapes and instead of rampaging once again, it meets and talks to Arfon, changes its name to Llonwddych (Tranquility) and settles in the gardens where it will protect his property for ever.

The story will also be animated for the film, with illustrations by Simon, and narrated by the World-famous Welsh actor, Dame Siân Philips.

The film will follow Simon from the beginning of the commissioning process to the final installation of the dragon and the climax of its first ‘flight’. The tree used for the carving, a Blue Atlas Cedar, had suffered dieback – a disease which meant the tree needed to be felled. For this project, Simon is using a range of chainsaws from smaller battery saws up to a 95cc saw with a 3ft bar. The process has been made more complex, partly due to the dragon’s flame breathing, and partly due to installing it in the centre of a pond!

Donation Opportunity

This film is being financed by the production team. If you wish to donate towards its making, please make a donation with PayPal, or offline, by clicking on the Donate Now button below.

Donations of £5 or more, will entitle the contributor to an exclusive private link to the completed version of the production.

If you are an individual or business and wish to contribute £1,500 or more, you will receive a credit at the end of the film, plus your exclusive private link, AND an invitation to a private showing of the documentary, (location to be decided upon). There will also be an opportunity for a short Q and A session afterwards with Simon and some of the team behind the production. In this case, please select the Donate Now button below and then the £1,500 option to make an offline donation.

Thank you so much for your generous support in making this dream a reality!

Stay up to date with the progress of the film

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