Curated by Edwin Rostron, this programme presents a series of works which use the material of film itself as a canvas. These visceral, vibrant films feature camera-less techniques such as scratching, painting and printing onto the filmstrip, subjecting film to decay and decomposition, and affixing materials such as letraset or insects to its surface. The remarkable visions created through these diverse approaches fill the frame with dynamic textures and colour, and many will be presented on 16mm and 35mm prints. Seen in the cinema, these works achieve a powerful effect, immersing us in strange and previously unseen worlds, and displaying the breadth and scope of abstract film.
Several of the filmmakers will be in attendance.
This programme is part of the Edge of Frame Weekend, which also includes a public seminar addressing questions around the context for animation practice, and further screenings at Whitechapel Gallery.
Images from the minds eye. Music from the minds ear. A pulsating heartbeat gives life to a motion painting experience. Abstract animation produced by drawing both sound and picture directly onto 35mm film.
Red, green, blue, and yellow grids track the horizon, left and right. The colours collide and mix.
"Exhumed 16mm film from my very own landfill in Elkhart, Indiana, constitute the canvas of Landfill 16. After finishing my double-projection When It Was Blue I was horrified by the bulk of outtakes that would normally go to a landfill. So I temporarily buried the footage to let enzymes and fungi in the soil begin to decompose the image, and then I hand-painted the film to give it new life." – Jennifer Reeves
A choreographed motion study for twinkling trinkets, beaming baubles, and glaring glimmers. A bow ballet ablaze (for bedazzled buoyant bijoux brought up to boil). Costume jewellery and natural wonders join forces to perform plastic pirouettes, dancing a luminous lament until the tide comes in.
"I needed to make something and so I began with the urgent method of direct animation, using a roll of 16mm unprocessed fogged negative and my own body. Emulsion softened with saliva rubbed away to reveal textures impressed upon the film surface." – Vicky Smith
A day-by-day animated diary of a year's sunsets, recorded directly onto a continuous strip of 35mm film using a variety of materials such as magnolia petals, net stocking, lacquer and ink, to create a dazzling expression of the visual music revealed by 365 setting suns.
Dense, addictive, multi-pass, colour printing with trees shorn of their leaves transformed into thirty six layer deep technicolour. Deep Red is an investigation into additive colour mixing on film, handmade by a DIY silkscreen printing technique.
A direct animation film made over a period of 3 years, using clear super 8 covered with ink and overlaid with various Letraset shapes. The titles incorporate paper cut-out animation, and the soundtrack features Helliwell’s home-made electronic sounds and improvisation on toy organ.
1974 | 12 min | Colour | Digital
"Nine linked short films. Memory, chance observation, and the subsuming of one in the other. A poem started in words is continued by the picture, part of another poem is read for the last of the nine. Some images are formed by direct-on-film animation, others are "found" by the camera." – Margaret Tait
Little Boy takes its name from the atomic bomb that was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima by the B-29 bomber, Enola Gay at 8:15 AM on August the 6th 1945. Little Boy is an abstract, stop-frame animation of the sky, recorded at the Hiroshima Peace Museum, within the detonation site of the first atomic bomb. The animation provides the raw material for this film, which has then been hand-processed using only the most rudimentary techniques.