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Animation ordinarily begins with fabrication whether using models, drawings or cell painting. The more recent introduction of digital technologies has reinforced this focus on the construction, representation and animation of both realistic and fantastic scenarios. Research in recent animation techniques therefore focuses on processes and methods that assist with fabrication. John Hughes’ research into animation processes and techniques uncovers methods that combine traditional animation techniques – stop-frame – and ‘found’ rather than fabricated objects. His research opens the field of contemporary animation to both tangible and intangible objects pre-existing in the environment. Removed is an innovative animation in two respects. First, on a technical level its stop-frame techniques capture found and ready-made scenes and objects in the environment in order to construct a narrative. Second, in using stop-frame animation it enacts a physical process to capture an intangible figure – that of the shadow. In its techniques it embodies a new approach to animation that places contemporary digital preoccupations with the fantastic and intangible alongside the tangible material world of objects and physical labour. Digital and traditional animation are shown to share some similarities in subject matter and approach rather than being oppositional. The film was shown at the Sydney Film Festival 2006, also featured in Figuring Landscapes: artists’ moving image from the U.K and Australia and was subsequently exhibited at the Dundee Contemporary Arts, FACT Liverpool, Vivid, Birmingham, Showroom Sheffield, Glimmer, the 7th Hull International Short Film, Capter Arts Centre Cardiff, Site Festival, Stroud Valley Artspace, Cinecity – Brighton Film Festival, Mermaid Arts Centre Wicklow, Ivan Doughterty Gallery Sydney, Gallery of Modern Art Brisbane.
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Hughes, John Francis
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Giles, Peter
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