Open Garage: Shining a light on some of our most urgent social issues

Open Garage is a Production company and we are currently in the pre-production stages of our debut film. The film is a documentary about the artist Chris Main. Chris was born into a working class military background, who was pressured to go into the Army.

Christoper Main’s story is an opportunity to celebrate the power of art and to shine a light on some of our most urgent social issues, such as PTSD, homophobia, loss, homelessness and addiction.

The crowdfunding page is now up and they need an initial investment to start turning Chris’ extraordinary life story into a feature length documentary.

Chris’ Story

Growing up, Chris was forced to conform to his strict military family, which amongst other things, involved hiding the fact that he was gay at all costs.

Partly to appease and partly to escape his parents, Chris ultimately joined the army. His superiors recognised his ability early on and invited him to join the special forces bomb disposal regiment, where he spent the rest of his career. Throughout this time, Chris kept his sexuality a secret for fear of being shot in the back.

On what would be Chris’ final mission, his platoon were captured by the enemy and he was tortured. When he was eventually rescued, he discovered that he was one of only six left alive from his platoon of eighteen. Back in England, the army diagnosed Chris with PTSD, gave him a medal for his courage and signed him off from returning to combat.

Chris then moved in with his husband-to-be Bernard. They enjoyed a peaceful life, managing his trauma for several years until Bernard sadly passed away. Shortly after the funeral, he was evicted from their apartment and found himself homeless as his army pension couldn’t cover the rent.

On the street, Chris was desperate for a way to make money but determined not to beg, and so one day decided to try painting. Using scavenged materials and his memories of bomb disposal for inspiration, he discovered a respite for his trauma and an extraordinary artistic talent.

A year ago, an established local artist named Che Frantz found Chris painting on the pavement outside his house, and was convinced by his talent and story. Che welcomed Chris into his home, which soon became overrun by Chris’ artwork.

Chris is now preparing for his first solo exhibition, in September, and a contribution to the Outsider Art Fair in New York in January. Chris says that painting has become ‘a medicine’ and that he is beginning to realise a life for himself free from trauma.

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