Saturday, August 8, 2020

Shadow animation practitioners

As my explorations into all things shadow puppetry and silhouette art continues, I asked Emma Windsor (from Puppet place, who created the amazing podcast from our conversation about ‘Invisible Octopus’) if she would have any information on making a light-box for use in animation.
The obvious first choice is the art of Lotte Reiniger.  My question led us both on an exciting creative journey of discovery. To make sure this research won’t go to ‘waste’, here are the links and Emma’s thoughts behind it.

Thanks Emma!

Lotte Reiniger animating two cut-out figures
Credit: BFI National Archive
See great article

All following text is by Emma Windsor, forwarded to me by messenger.

Looking into shadow animation is really interesting as it could be considered as a window into the history of the moving image itself!  Grand statement to make I know, but shadow puppet animation is perhaps the oldest forms of moving image.  Shadow puppet theatre likely originated in Central Asia-China or in India in the 1st millennium BCE, and could be considered a direct prelude to cinema due to use of light and projection to create images, alongside live music, dialogue from the puppeteers and of course a gripping storyline.  However, it wasn’t until the advent of film in the early twentieth century that shadow animation as we understand it today was born.

One of the earliest and best known pioneering artist in shadow animation is Lotte Reiniger, who began making stop motion shadow cut out films in 1918, and whose works continue to delight audiences and influence artists.  Notable artists have also experimented with related techniques such as sand-on-glass, or have taken cut-out animation to extraordinary places by pushing the boundaries of the available technology or just being rather, well, silly.  Today, cut-out continues to be used both traditionally and digitally –with digital cut-out being one of the most widespread techniques in creating animation in the industry.

Shadow animation over lightbox 

I have a look for videos that might be helpful with regards to shadow animation over lightbox.  There's not a great deal specifically on that topic, as you say, which is surprising in some respects, but here are a few links that might be useful/interesting:

  • The Art of Lotte Reiniger Documentary: This was the first thing that sprung to mind when you asked about shadow work as she is probably the most well known artist in this field, and was an incredibly skilled practitioner.  You may have already seen this, but if not then it's a real gem of a documentary.  There are clips on YouTube, but I have found the full length version on Dailymotion.  Her use of her best dinning table made me smile a lot!
  • Excerpt from a Masterclass with Caroline Leaf Not paper cut-out, but same principle working with sand on glass.  Caroline Leaf is another female role model for me, working in paint & sand on glass, and also experimenting with scratching directly onto film stock.  I found this interesting as you can watch her process as she's doing it.
  • I then thought it terms of process, that looking at cut-out animation in general might be useful, as even though it's not shadow based work, the basic process is of course the same.  First artist that sprang to mind is Yuri Norstein, in particular 'The Hedgehog & The Fog' (1975) which is an incredible film technically and has a number of silhouette (or near silhouette) sequences in it.
  • There's another masterclass on YouTube with Norstein demonstrating some of the techniques.  I haven't watched all of that yet (and it is quite long, plus he's working through a translator but it is v. interesting).
  • Then I thought about a short documentary I'd seen with a young Terry Gilliam, which is good fun to watch. I think what I appreciate about Gilliam's early work - other than the visual surrealism) is his approach to movement.  Quite basic sometimes, but I think that adds to the humour. I also appreciate his willingness to use what's around him.
  • And (finally) I came across this short from a contemporary paper based animator who I didn't know about before, Brandon Ray, which I thought might be useful as he talks about his set-up with rostrum and multiplane about halfway through

Emma Windsor,  Puppet Place, Bristol, UK 

Friday, August 7, 2020

Interpreting the art of Corina Duyn

Over the past few months I had the fortune to have my creative work interpreted by fellow artists, writers, and a musician: Michael Harding, Nuala O’Conner, Sister Stanislaus Kennedy,  Emma Windsor and Jeroen Niesten. As well having my work highlighted in an 'Meet the Artist’ interview on Arts & Disability Ireland, and Instagram takeover of their page.

One of my Shadow images reflecting on Life with M.E.

It is a true honour to have others share their vision on my work related to M.E. Aside from this I am also being asked to give talks about my work - Like in Chile in May and for an international course in July, and also privately via Zoom. Through all of this I remain part of the outside world, while rarely making an actual appearance outside my gate.

Thank you all.

* Reflections on ME through Puppetry:

Image of podcast

In February I had a long Skype conversation with Emma Windsor from Puppet Place in Bristol about my work on ‘Invisible Octopus’.  Due to Covid-19 the resulting podcast didn’t come about until May. 

Around the same time Arts & Disability Ireland invited me to showcase my work on their website under the ‘Meet the Artist’ series.  They also invited me to take over their Instagram account for 3 days - 12 posts to share my work, and thoughts behind it.

A friend from my primary school in Holland, Jeroen Niesten created a piece of guitar music to an abstract of my edited ‘Invisible Octopus’ Poem. He sang my words. Oh my goodness.

  • Click HERE for the (25 minute) podcast created by Emma Windsor of Puppet Place.

  • See HERE to read the ‘Meet the Artist’ Profile on Arts & Disability Ireland
  • See HERE , and the following 12 posts on Arts & Disability Instagram page
  • See HERE for the music and voice by Jeroen Niesten (1.5 min) ‘Short Flight’ with my lyrics and shadow images.

12 posts on Arts & Disability Instagram page
Artist takeover

Shadow image by Corina Duyn
Attacked by ‘Invisible Octopus’
Still from video Image ©  Corina Duyn 2020

* Reflections on ME through poetry

As part of this year’s ME Awareness Day in May, organised by ME Advocates Ireland  which for obvious reasons can only proceed online, weI asked three Irish writers to reflect on my poems from Into the Light  

Michael Harding, Sr.Stan and Nuala O’Connor reflected on my writing and life life with M.E., the Covid-19 situation and hoping to ‘not be left behind’ after life turns to some normality for the majority of people.

  • Click HERE for a short  5 minute compilation video with contributions by Michael Harding, Sr. Stan and Nuala O’Connor.
    • For individual recording, please see links below the images

Michael Harding on ME Awareness Day

Writer and Poet Nuala O’Connor

Click HERE for some very thoughtful reflections on ME and Corina’s poetry by visionary, 
and author Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy (Sr. Stan)