Animating Stillness. Realism and Temporality in Stop-Frame Animation.

My research is concerned with how stillness and the removal of the puppet figure affect the stop-frame image, exploring how ‘still’ stop-frame exists in an ambiguous realm between movement and stasis. I am interested in how stop-frame animation’s unique depiction of temporality relates to the notion of being and becoming. Its close relationship to both photography and live-action film allows me to explore the medium in relation to Andre Bazin’s concept of embalmed time and Gilles Deleuze’s time-image. My research also explores how ‘still’ stop-frame can present a heightened representation of reality using an understated, rather than exaggerated, approach to set building and animation. This heightened representation offers an image that resembles photographic indexicality yet bears reflexive signs of myself as animator. The validity of animation as a medium that can document and capture the real world is well established. My aim is to use animation towards observation of the real world, drawing together a realist, understated approach to the image with a realist approach to subject matter. My practice involves a carefully measured, scale reconstruction of my studio space in which observations of light and atmosphere, made from the actual studio space, are depicted using stop-frame animation.