Roger Thorp grew up in a Methodist family in an isolated village in the Peak District. His eyes were opened to the world at 14 by a series of European films on TV. He studied Foundation Art then travelled to Bournemouth on the south coast where he read Film and Photography for 3 years.
Following a few months in America where he ended up ‘pumping gas’ in Los Angeles, he returned to London where he started as a runner for a commercials production house. This quickly led to him producing music videos for acts including U2, Iggy Pop and The Clash.
He lived a bohemian lifestyle in London, living in draughty garrets and collaborating with various musicians and artists. While always writing film scripts and songs he funded his artistic practice by working primarily in film. During this period Thorp hitched from Paris to Rome with his 35mm camera and a bagful of stock and created Le Panoramic, a photographic essay of the journey. He also made a similarly penniless trip to Munich, looking for Herzog. In 1989 he made Hinterland a black and white 16mm drama which was first shown at the Barcelona Film Festival and subsequently used as a case study at Copenhagen University.
In the 90’s he also produced and directed films for NGO’s such as WWF, ILO and the Red Cross, working in Australia, Mongolia and the USA. He became closely involved with Greenpeace, joining them on many actions and filming on the Rainbow Warrior.
Pursuing his drama work he made several trips to Spain researching and writing The Drummer, a road movie with ‘duende’ at its core. He travelled through central Europe meeting with Road Movies in Berlin to talk about Empires Must Fall, the story of a hapless screenwriter who unwittingly smuggles a stolen Da Vinci from London to Rome. On his return he wrote Shelter, influenced by this journey. After spending time at the Cannes Film Festival, depressed by the parasitic nature of the event, he wrote The Trash Collector, the story of a French dustman who salvages a broken American actress.
In 2000 he made Naked August, a low budget feature drama that had it’s first screening at the Ship of Dreams film festival on the Isola del Tiburina in Rome. Around that time he co-founded Little Song Films, a web gallery devoted to short films that express the poetics of the moving image. Little Song exhibit the work of artists from 12 countries. Roger’s own films and installations have also been shown at the Port Eliot Literary Festival, Cornwall Film Festival, Bristol Cube Cinema and Folk House and L’Alternativa festival in Barcelona.
In 2004 he moved to a cliff-top in Cornwall. His recent work includes a film collaboration with Cube Theatre and the creation of an Amphitheatre in the grounds of his house.
His passion has always been for the art and poetry of European Cinema. His scripts have reflected this and it has also influenced his installation practice where, in 2013, his creative focus lies. His most recent show Dwell 18.5:1 at the Dark Rooms show at the CAST Institute was ‘mesmerising’ according to one commentator. In March 2013 Pegasus Aflame was shown in Falmouth and Istanbul. In April 2013 the Little Song Films project was invited to show a slate of films at the Cornwall Art Biennale.
In May 2013 Roger installed the Fountain Project in the James Turrell Skyspace at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens and exhibited in the Millennium Gallery Winter Show. In 2014 he has held a solo show at Millennium and created The Waking Path at Tremenheere.
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