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RA Collection acquires first film work

Published 2 July 2014

The film ‘Love has no reason’ by RA Schools graduate Julie Born Schwartz has been added to the Royal Academy’s historic Collection.

  • Each summer the head of the RA Schools (known as the Keeper) and the head of the RA Collection select a work from the RA Schools Show to add to the Academy’s Collection.

    Initiated by the late Maurice Cockrill RA (Keeper of the RA from 2004-2011), the Keeper’s Purchase Prize was established in 2006 as part of a wider programme to document the personal experience of each new generation of students in the RA Schools and to lay the foundations for the first permanent collection of students’ work within the Academy.

    This year’s selection was made on the first day of the exhibition by Nick Savage, Director of Collections, and Keeper Eileen Cooper RA.

    “When we began the selection process this year, we more or less took it for granted that we would probably choose a painting, not least because of the great range and strength of work in this medium that was particularly evident,” Nick Savage explains.

    “But then quite unexpectedly, something happened as we sat down in darkness to watch the 60 second countdown to Love has no reason, and gradually surrendered all our senses to the pull of its visual and acoustic magic.

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  • “I shall never forget watching this 18-minute film for the first time and the associations it conjured up for me, particularly Jean Cocteau’s version of the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast – not through any literal reference, but by weaving the same spellbinding enchantment that that great film still exercises in my memory, by creating the same uncanny sense of the inevitability of what we are seeing and are about to see.

    "I cannot claim I saw the remainder of the exhibition with the same eyes.”

    Love has no reason is the very first film work in the RA Collection. It joins historic works by John Constable, JMW Turner and William Blake and more recent Diploma Works (given by artists when they are appointed Royal Academicians) by artists such as Tracey Emin, Cornelia Parker and David Hockney.

    Eileen Cooper RA describes the HD film as “remarkable - it’s quite beautiful, and uses documentary and narrative in a poetic and imaginative way. It’s a real feast.”

    To learn about the making of the film, watch our video interview (above) with Julie Born Schwartz which was recorded as she prepared for this year’s exhibition.