Filmed in 2013 and 2014, this is the first documentary to look at his work in depth, from his early life in Russia to his emigration to Berwick Upon Tweed and then Durham in the 1970s. Sadd’s film features new footage from Greece and Russia as well as an extensive interview with the artist’s widow, the renowned academic Dr Avril Pyman. Also appearing in the film to contextualize Sokolov’s achievements are the art historians and Russian specialists Professor John Milner, Professor John Elsworth and Dr Anthony Parton.
At the core of the film is an opportunity to see many works on paper, sculpture and oil paintings, which have been newly photographed from the studio and in some cases never exhibited outside his close circle of family and friends. Showcasing the artist’s range and vision across a wide range of media, the film makes the case for Sokolov as one of the most interesting artists working in Britain of the last 50 years.
The film screening was accompanied by a lecture on ‘The Concept of Tragedy in Russian Silver Age Thought’ by the academic Dr Avril Pyman. A leading translator of Russian poetry into English and a biographer of Aleksandr Blok and Pavel Florensky, Pyman has also written the major text on the Russian symbolist movement, A History of Russian Symbolism, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2006. She is a fellow of the British Academy.