I was absolutely delighted to introduce one of my very favourite animators and filmmakers, Ruth Lingford.
I first met Ruth and others at Animafest Zagreb in 2004 and this experience led to my applying to the animation course at the RCA where she taught. On my first day at the RCA, however, I discovered that she had just taken up a post at Harvard where she remains to this day! The RCA’s loss is Harvard’s gain and I have been hoping to get Ruth to come and give a talk at London Animation Club for several years. She told me she would be in the UK in January, so that’s when we did it.
Ruth showed a selection of her hand-drawn films, most of which are independent films. You can see a video of her talk, filmed by Stuart Pound, here:
Her films are by turns warm, sad and transcendent and often deal with issues of female identity and sexuality. All the work she showed had been generated on a computer yet had an immediacy and intimacy which belied its origins and called to mind illustrations in ink and even woodcuts.
Ruth’s Harvard experience seems to have given her a creative surge and she showed the four films she created there in part one:
1. Little Deaths (2010, 11’30”)
An animated documentary in which speakers describe the experience of having an orgasm
2. Ladies Tree
A hand-drawn music promo for a song about Joan Of Arc by the band What Time Is It, Mr Fox? The promo is not available online, but you can see Ruth singing with the band here:
3. Keep Your Head Down (2013, 4’45”)
Another hand-drawn music promo, this time for the band Bury Me Standing:
4. On The Turn (2013, 1’00”)
An animated loop of hand-drawn portraits of Ruth, made for her sixtieth birthday. Sadly it is not online.
5. What She Wants (1994, 4’00”)
A woman is beset by sexual distractions as she travels on London Transport.
6. Death And The Mother (1997, 10’30”)
Death knocks at the door of a woman tending her baby.
Ruth also brought along a copy of the American comic book World War III for which she had drawn a comic strip version of Death And The Mother for their special issue on the subject of death: http://www.worldwar3illustrated.org/current.html.
We then had the very welcome return of LAC stalwarts Sheila Jackson and John Fryer who have produced a brand new animated film It’s Not So Bad (2014, 8’00”): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGWvKVuKEp0&feature=share&list=UUqA5rRuEe9PjIKM-MBYPijQ&index=1.
The film is an animated poem and a political satire on Spreading Democracy. It is an ambitious and intricate piece of Flash animation, all the more impressive for the fact that Sheila is not a professional animator. More, please!
See more of Sheila and John’s work here: http://www.political-art.co.uk. I’m hoping that they will show the film again at our next event on 4th February.
In part three, to honour the passing of Harold Whitaker I showed two of the films he animated for Halas & Batchelor, one dark and satirical one:
Automania 2000 (1963)
and one happy one to finish on:
Butterfly Ball (1976)
Here is part one of Jez Stewart’s article about the man: http://www.skwigly.co.uk/harold-whitaker-animator-anson-dyer-halas-batchelor-part-1/ and here is the obituary he wrote for The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/jan/14/harold-whitaker
I hope we will do a proper Harold Whitaker event soon.
Our next event is this Tuesday (4th February from 7.30 pm-ish). We will try to start promptly because of the threatened tube strike, so that people can still get home when they need to!
See you there.
Love from Martin