Brownsville’s Mindfield sculpture subject of new film

February 20, 2024

A massive metal sculpture towers above Brownsville's main street and has been a work in progress by local artist Billy Tripp since 1989. It is the subject of a new film directed and produced by another Brownsville native, Randall Kendrick.  "The Steel Garden: A Documentary" will have its first hometown premier Friday evening, February 23, 6:30 pm at the Ann Marks Performing Arts Center in Brownsville.

"The Steel Garden" examines Tripp's life and work as he sets his sights on retirement and builds one of the final pieces of his ever-expanding sculpture – The Mindfield.

"Billy Tripp’s work means more to me than I can describe," says Kendrick. "I think what he has accomplished in his 67 years is incredible, and my goal with the documentary is to provide an accurate and thorough picture of him. He inspired me to pursue my dreams and I hope that through this film that he inspires others as well."

Kendrick spent three months interviewing various people connected to the sculpture and filmed Tripp’s work on weekends until August 2022 when he began editing the film. His documentary was completed in January 2023.

"The Steel Garden" has won Best Documentary at the Hub City Film Festival, Jackson, and played in California at the California Capital Documentary Film Festival.  Immediately following the Brownsville screening, Kendrick and Dr. Beth Shaw Tripp will host a Q&A with the audience.

"The film has been well received at film festivals," said Visit Brownsville Director Sonia Outlaw-Clark, " and we are looking forward to sharing it with our community."

Kendrick is an independent filmmaker living in Tennessee. He didn’t have a set budget or a crew when he started production on "The Steel Garden." He handled all aspects of the production himself and spent a little money at a time while working a day job to make ends meet.

This is an official Bicentennial event of the City of Brownsville and is free and open to the public. For more information, call 731-779-9000 or email soutlaw-clark@brownsvilletn.gov.