Following my Tutor’s feedback and my reflection post, here is my further research on relevant photographers for part four and Assignment four of the course. The basis of the research is around story telling visually, using both photography and narrative (visual or oral):
Graham Rawle (born 1955):
A UK writer and collage artist whose visual work incorporates illustration, design, photography and installation.
I’d like to thank my tutor for sending me the link to Graham Rawle’s Wizard of Oz book project (2008). This was recommended as it tells a story with inanimate objects. On watching the trailer for the book I found it touched me a number of different ways:
Firstly it amused me, the characters I think show the photographer’s age (I could be wrong) but I can’t imagine many children of today having those kinds of dolls with their brittle plastic bodies, some of which clearly have been broken in places, and fluttering eyes. In particular the dolls remind me of the ones you used to get abroad wearing the national dress costume, which were bought as a collector’s item and/or something to remind you of the holiday. How do I know? I still have some myself but not for playing with (of course).
Secondly, I found it all a little disturbing. It’s certainly not your usual child friendly looking fair tale story book. The items in the created ‘sets’ throw together a lot of different unrelated elements which jars a bit but works. Characters created out of bits of other things, all adds to the non-conformist aesthetic of beauty which is applied today. Also the use of real people’s heads on the bodies of dolls.
Thirdly, it made me feel nostalgic about time gone by when children’s toys were more primitive (a knitted lion) and certainly wouldn’t have conformed to today’s health and safety regulations. I like the compositing of different characters/animals to make up the baddies.
A truly creative project by Graham Rawle bringing together quirky still life photography with artistic backgrounds/scenes to tell a well-loved story which has stood the test of time (much like some of the characters used – just!)
“Andersen M is a creative studio. A partnership between siblings Martin Andersen (MA, RCA) and Line Andersen (MA, CSM).
We work in the areas of art direction, graphic design, photography, animation and film.” www.andersenm.com
My tutor recommended the Going West animation by Anderson M Studio because of its creative use of stop motion photography and an engaging voice over narrative to create an exciting 2 minute 26 second animated advert for the book Going West by Maurice Gee.
The short was commissioned by the New Zealand Book Council to promote books with the campaign strap line of Where Books Come to Life and in this animation the book certainly does that.
The animation is set within the pages of the book itself and starts very casually with a calm voice over reading whilst the book’s pages are flicked through. Then the pages stop flicking and settle on a single page and it is then that the extraordinary begins…
Out of the page is crafted raised sections which slowly build up to a 3D picture of a train track, which fits in with the story’s narrative, and it is from there that your journey starts. You are on a papery train journey through the pages of the book. All the time the reader / narrator conveys the atmospheric nuances of the story line by adjusting the pitch, rhythm and level of his voice which really adds extra dimension.
It must have taken a very long time to produce this animation let alone the story-boarding of it. The artist/s meticulously cut/s into the pages of the book to create intricate papery landscapes as the story takes you through the countryside with trees, bushes and grass all cut from the pages of the book. The planning of from which direction each page should be viewed and lit would have had to be very careful through for every shot taken.
You then go into a tunnel and it is from there that the lighting comes into its own and produces an incredible atmosphere which, together with the narration, takes the reader on an exciting trip literally into the story. At one point a ghostly shaped cut-out appears in the tunnel and is set alight to at the point where the narrator says “and the smell of sulphur”, which I thought was a clever idea. It was the something unexpected / surprising which links back to the Martin Parr video my tutor also provided in my Assignment four feedback.
The next moment you are in a train station with lots of tall cut-out paper structures and the narrator’s voice echos to suggest a large open space surrounded by construction.
I really enjoyed the creative journey but felt overwhelmed thinking about how much time and probably production cost it took to create the 2 minutes 26 second animation.
The link provided by my tutor was for a review in the Guardian:
“Kafka’s tale of a man who wakes to find he has changed into a giant insect still has the power to shock and delight a century after it was first published. Many regard it as the greatest short story in all literary fiction” The Guardian
“…first published in 1915. It has been called one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is studied in colleges and universities across the Western world.” Wikipedia
My tutor also suggested in my feedback that I should draw on other artistic/creative genres for inspiration and ideas. This suggestion is a literary source, which I have not yet read but appears to be something worth putting on my reading list.
Described as a horror with a comedic element this is a story of a man who wakes up to find he is no-longer a human but a huge insect like creature, and it the story of how he adapts to the new life. It sounds like there could be some parallels to someone who finds themselves in some way incapacitated and the mixture of responses produced by the person and those around them who try to accommodate the new circumstances they find themselves in.
I have seen parts of the film The Fly which seems like a similar premise, man becomes insect, but I cannot analyse any similarities or differences until I have experienced them both fully.
Graham Rawle, Available at: http://www.grahamrawle.com/index.html (Accessed: May 2017).
Wikipedia (13 March 2017) Graham Rawle, Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Rawle (Accessed: May 2017).
Andersen M Studio, Available at: http://www.andersenm.com/about (Accessed: May 2017).
(2009) Andersen M Studio – Going West, Available at: http://www.andersenm.com/animations/going-west (Accessed: May 2017).
The Guardian (18 July 2015) Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/18/franz-kafka-metamorphosis-100-thoughts-100-years (Accessed: May 2017).
Wikipedia (25 May 2017) The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Metamorphosis (Accessed: May 2017).