Great things can come in tiny packages from moving stories meditating on the challenges of daily life through to joyous celebrations of colour, music and community. This selection of animated short films features cross disciplinary artists working with stop motion felt and puppet characters, paper cut-cut, digital, hand-painted, 2D computer animation.
Gillian 2001 dir. Van Sowerwine (7 mins)
"A doll dreams of escape from a world she cannot control." Screen Australia
Clara 2004 dir. Van Sowerwine (6:56 mins)
"Struggling with the death of her younger sister, 12-year-old Clara is confused and bewildered. Her efforts to remedy the horrible situation and make sense of her changed world are thwarted by flowers that attack her, chips that burn her and the ants that cling to her final offering of flowers. Through her grief, Clara realises that her enchanted childhood world is changed forever. The death has upset her sense of the natural order, and things will never be the same." Screen Australia
Sheep’s Clothing 2011 dir. Isobel Knowles (0:50 mins)
"A sheep in sheepdog's clothing and a wolf in sheep's clothing ..." Isobel Knowles
Owl Know How 2011 dir. Isobel Knowles, Cat Rabbit (2:17 mins)
Owl Know How is a delightful stop motion puppet animation set in Cloud Town, a place where owls are made. The animation, which features felt, cardboard and other recycled materials, was the inspiration by the artists for a children’s book of the same name.
Out in the Open 2017 dir. Van Sowerwine, Isobel Knowles (10:44 mins)
"When you spend fifty years of your life waking up to work before dawn, just what are you getting up for? Out In The Open tells the story of a trader’s struggle to stay relevant in a changing world. Using stop-motion animation and sound, co-directors Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine have created a surreal, imagined future where age-old tradition has been left behind. Animated puppets and miniature models narrate a hidden side of the market and the deep relationship a trader has with his place of work. Ultimately, Knowles and Sowerwine ask audiences to contemplate: what exactly is being sold?" Isobel Knowles
Kaylene TV 2020 dir. Kaylene Whiskey (3 mins)
"Hello! Kaylene Whiskey from Indulkana here. I hope you love watching Kaylene TV and it makes you laugh and smile with your friends and family!
I always say my paintings are ‘from the comic to the canvas’ and now the video is like ‘from the canvas to the Saturday morning cartoons’. I had a really good time making the videos, thinking of all the different ways to bring the strong ladies from my paintings to life! I want my videos to send a strong message of fun and family, and to say I’m proud of my Anangu culture.
I want to thanks all these famous kungkas (ladies) for being in my movies: Cathy Freeman, Dolly Parton, Cher, Tina Turner, Princess Diana, Beyonce. To all my sisters here on the APY Lands and all over the world, I love you! Let’s party!
Kaylene x" Kaylene Whiskey
I like the way you like (3 channel) 2018 dir. Rebecca Agnew (12:57 mins)
"I like the way you like is a three-channel installation exploring the variety of social and physical worlds connected by the supply chain of mobile phones. It traces the entanglement where the mining of conflict (blood) minerals, the state of technological industry and the everyday use of mobile phones coexist." Rebecca Agnew
Beastliness 2011 dir. Deborah Kelly (3:17 mins)
Beastliness takes as many aesthetic cues from MTV as it does from photomontage pioneer Hannah Höch and other proponents of early twentieth-century European Dada. Kelly’s uncanny fusion of animals, insects and women placed in a world of frenzied dancing presents a cultural critique in the form of a bacchanalian fantasy. Feathers fly as the creatures consume each other in a conclusion that formally resembles an ouroboros — the ancient symbol of a serpent eating its own tail, representing the circle of life and, in some contexts, immortality.
By re-mythologising femininity, Deborah Kelly considers stereotypes and other expectations that can demonise difference. Challenging stable notions of gender, the artist stands against any rhetoric that aims to divide and control us by proposing a predefined ‘normality’. Her strategy is to embrace diversity: these creatures represent many female forms, thoughts and experiences, and celebrate acceptance and freedom of expression.
The Gods of Tiny Things 2019 dir. Deborah Kelly (5:35 mins)
"Deborah Kelly’s kaleidoscopic video unleashes a vivid collage of animated figures and landscapes cut free from the pages of old magazines and encyclopedias. Created at ‘collage camp’ on beautiful Yuin Country with visual and musical collaborators, the work explores the threats of extinction and the climate crisis, the tolls of colonialism, and the global political shift to the right, while conversely revelling in the hectic pleasures and desires of life itself." Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne