AGC Lunch Platforms
Tuesday, January 21
Art Gallery of Calgary
Canadas animation scene has become world-renowned over the last decade, with many short films earning enough Genies and Oscars to give most blockbusters a run for their money.
"Its a modest living, but I really enjoy the process," says Calgary-based animator Richard Reeves. "It can be really meditative."
Reeves has been making animated shorts for close to a decade, and his films have been screened at international festivals, winning awards in both sound and animation from Australia to the Middle East.
He calls his filmmaking technique visual music, and while film is his canvas, it is sound that provides the basis for his work. As he describes, sound takes on an optical shape when played back on a projector. Working with technicians rather than musicians, Reeves uses a self-contained home-movie projector called a Moviola and sometimes computers to alter sound, as well as techniques like "persistence of vision," which draws on sound reverb to manipulate and retain an image longer. While some of us get irritated by those flashing lines that sometimes appear on the edge of cinema screens, it is precisely those lines that feed Reevess imagination.
The results are remarkable. Reevess two-minute works Zig Zag and 1:1 are a good introduction to the form, while longer pieces like Linear Dreams and Sea Song display his seamless artistry. As explosions of kinetic, electromagnetic colour, both Linear Dreams and Sea Song move flawlessly, using music, shapes and lines to re-create the surrealism of a dream in the first film, and the underwater environment of rich aquatic life in the second.
Simple as it may sound, Reevess artistry is no easy process. As he notes, a five-minute animation like the award-winning Linear Dreams took two years to complete. Aside from an interest in abstract expressionism, Reeves mentions that it was celebrated film animator Norman McLaren who inspired his devotion.
"McLaren once said that if images can be created from sound, then those images can also be drawn," says Reeves. "So Ive been trying to create a library of work for myself, which I can also use in my day-to-day activities."
Along with funding from the Canada Council and the National Film Board, Reevess work is backed by Calgarys Quickdraw Animation Society, where he first started working with animation in 1990 after studying painting, printmaking and still photography. Hes an avid Quickdraw supporter, and likes working with up-and-coming technicians in the field.
Reeves will introduce and discuss his films at a free, noon-hour series of cultural conversations with artists, architects, designers, curators, filmmakers and writers. Organized by the Alberta College of Art and Design at the Art Gallery of Calgary, the Lunch Platforms series is an informal forum for showcasing and discussing new media.
For more information, call 770-1358 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.