A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things

A creative biography of the Scottish artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, narrated by Tilda Swinton.

Year: 2024

Director: Mark Cousins 

Producers: Adam Dawtrey, Mary Bell 

Executive Producer: Mark Thomas 

Production Company: BOFA Productions 

Sales Agent: Reservoir Docs 

Cast: Narrated by Tilda Swinton 

Screen Scotland support: The film accessed £99,000 through Screen Scotland’s Film Development and Production Fund 


A creative biography of the Scottish artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. One of the most important women in British modern art, the painter Wilhelmina Barns-Graham was a highly inspirational figure, whose work was deeply impacted by a pivotal event in her life. 

In May 1949, this leading representative of the modernist St. Ives group of artists climbed to the top of the Grindelwald glacier in Switzerland, an experience which was to transform the way she saw the world. She spent the rest of her life capturing its shapes and colours, indeed its very essence. 

In his essayistic portrait Cousins delves into complex themes of gender, climate change and creativity, while laying bare the artist’s character and vast imagination so pervasively that he creates the impression we are seeing the world through her eyes. 

Black and white image of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, whe is shown from the shoulders up, and wears glasses and a black top. credit Ander Gunn

More information

Premiere: A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things will have its World Premiere at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in July 2024.

Theatrical release: Conic will release A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things in UK and Ireland in October 2024.

Image credits

Stills from A Sudden Glimpse to Deeper Things, courtesy BOFA Productions