Joyride on Vimeo
Collage & Animation
An Exhibition of Collage & Animation by Alyssa Rothwell.
Friday31st August to 14th September 2012.
Ginkgo Gallery, 166 St John’s Road, Forest Lodge, Glebe.
Alyssa Rothwell’s work as an animator began in 1994. She has produced stand-alone screen works and animated set designs for theatre. When presented in gallery spaces, her work has often invited the viewer to drive the story structure or to interact physically with projected, moving images.
In all of her work, drawing on paper has preceded the digital animation process. A large number of drawings are required to set up a movement sequence and as this movement develops on-screen it is revised through more drawings. Rothwell’s decision to work on paper, even though the development of animation software has increasingly allowed the animator to produce their work wholly in the computer, is an aesthetic decision. As she has stated: “While digital animation tools are attractive for their flexibility and efficiency, they often produce a result that narrowly communicates a sense of ‘the new’ or ‘the digital’, and I have aimed to retain a sense of the handmade in my work”.
In this exhibition, Rothwell is presenting an animated work alongside works on paper for the first time. The animation ‘Joyride’ is a visual response to ‘Ether Etudes’, the original composition that is the work’s soundtrack, by Australian composer Andrew Schultz. Abstract and oblique, ‘Joyride’ could be many things: a drawing in and of the air, a view of the bush from the window of a moving car, or a dance to the music by a company of lines. In a questionnaire for the Melbourne International Animation Festival, where the work premiered this year, Rothwell said: “The music seemed to create a wonderful space through which the imagination could travel - like a landscape drifting in and out of focus through a small window. I had the desire to work in a very pure way, exploring movement, line and sound relationships, free from technical trends or commercial constraints.”
The exhibition’s twenty-five paper collages continue ‘Joyride’s’ abstract visualisation of an imaginary, nature-based environment, even though only a few bear a direct relationship to the animation. The trio of ‘Paper ink trees’ served as direct studies for ‘Joyride’, and reflect an early phase of the animation’s development, when a landscape of blocks and brushstrokes had not yet given way to the sparse lines of the final work. Several unseen sequences of animation were completed in this style, using layers of tissue paper - lighter than black ink but still deemed too heavy for music that is as weightless as air. ‘Paper ink trees’ and the pinkish-brown ‘Flooded Creek’ aided the creation of a complex animated world before being put aside, a casualty of a creative process that submits lightning bolt discoveries to labour-intensive testing and development.
‘Swooping bird’ is the painterly collage that most closely matches ‘Joyride’s’ lightness of touch and spontaneity of form. It marked a turning point in Rothwell’s use of collage, from the prospecting of a pictorial environment that might later be animated to the pursuit of autonomous, still images. From this point forward the picture plane was open for free play. The ‘Light-filled pool’ series presents a vision of light and air in watercolour, with wet-into-wet flows and dry shapes overlaid. In ‘Rockpool’ and the ‘Low Tide’ collages, scraped layers of paint allude more closely still to coastal textures and environments. The possibilities of pure formal arrangement are pursued in the ‘Snail Poem’ works, each posing the question of how much variation a small square of paper can hold, and how particular its poetry can be. The ‘Snail Poems’ stand in contrast to a pair of bird’s nests depicted frontally in striking figuration, the fractured paper pieces coalescing into a seamless bird’s eye view.
Alyssa Rothwell’s works on paper have usually been made in the service of animation. This exhibition celebrates their emergence as works in their own right, issuing from the impulse to pursue an image. And yet her approach is basically experimental, and even the works on paper that seem most self-sufficient may be just the first intimations of ideas that we are yet to see brought to their fullest expression – perhaps even as fully-fledged animated works. Who knows where these experiments may lead?
About the exhibition Collage & Animation
Playing with simple materials I found the textures and arrangements could speak of a range of natural subjects, sometimes in detailed depiction, like in the Nest collages, at other times more abstract as in Swooping Bird.
Snail poem #1 mixed media 24cm x 24cm 2012
Collage & Animation
31 Aug to 14 Sep 2012 Opening 31st August 6 - 8pm
A new animation & paper collage studies by Alyssa Rothwell
166 St Johns Road Forest Lodge Glebe NSW 2037
An intricately synchronised, exquisitely elegant chorus of lines - the purest form of animation perfectly performed. (MIAF)
Joyride is a hand-drawn vector animation (2:26) made in response to the orchestral composition ‘Ether Etude’ by Australian composer Andrew Schultz. With a visual elegance as simple as it is enchanting, Rothwell transforms the white void of the screen into a space where lines dance in rhythmic abstract formations. Concise and poetic, Joyride draws music and vision into animated movement.
Australian International Animation Festival (Touring) 2012
The Rainforest Walk (2010)
Concept and art direction for this serious game created with the Prince of Wales Research Centre. A marrying of traditional animation techniques and digital technology is an effective approach for the styling of Rehabilitation Games and suits the Wii and “Dance-dance” Revolution Pressure Pad technology involved. This is part of an ongoing research project.
Animated Installation (2008)
Web is an animated installation created in collaboration with Peter Sharp, exhibited at Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney Australia. www.liverpoolstgallery.com.au/
Pixel & Friends The Colour Show (2008)
Animation, dance & live music together create a playful and vivid journey through the colour spectrum. An original story of a single pixel who looses her colour and explores the worlds of line, form, shape, texture, space and rhythm in a quest to find it again. Original Concept:Kim Carpenter & Alyssa Rothwell. Artwork and Animation: Alyssa Rothwell. Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Australia. 2008.Touring NSW Galleries 2010.
Lulie The Ice Berg (2007)
Animation, shadow puppets, & dance meld together telling the story of Lulie The Ice Berg (adapted from the picture book by Her Imperial Highness, Princess Hisako of Takamado) Created through a collaboration between Theatre of Image and Tokyo’s Japanese shadow puppetry Theatre Company Kageboushi. Alyssa worked with Fabian Astore to created a series of animated backdrops with which the dancers and puppets interact.Performances Sydney Theatre Walsh Bay, Sydney, Riverside Theatre, Parramatta Feb- March, 2007.