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Tin House Reels: Elizabeth Davis

“Animators document the change to objects over a length of time,” says Elizabeth Davis, this week’s Tin House Reels featured artist. She defines animation simply: as the art of motion; and it gives her a wide range for play. Davis animates objects of all sorts, making her stories out of various toys: projecting light onto fabric, building zeoptropes, and shooting stop-motion films of clumps of hair moving around on a table, as in her film Glabrous.

“Animation means learning techniques so that I can bring different media into time and motion, and it does not stop with my pen or my computer. Technology is a tool, but I am also interested in the texture of real things—watercolor, hair, cut-out pieces. I miss those textures when I only work digitally.”

Her appreciation for tangible life is evident in her film The Fisherman. Davis uses black ink in uneven lines, sets sketches into spotty motion, and leaves her film silent, which amplifies an intimacy with her hand-drawn sketches. The creative play of free-form drawing can help shape her storyline: “While I was working out the motion I let whatever seemed natural happen. The small fish swimming around the man is a great example of that; I started drawing the fish to fit one sequence but they took on life and became a nice breath in the film.”

Elizabeth Davis is a sophomore at the Kansas City Art Institute, pursuing a BFA with a double major in Animation and Art History. She is studying to be an art historian and wants to “to critically look at animation and film as a fine art,” to establish its context in the history of art. She otherwise moves objects around in other artful ways when helping to run the community-based urban garden at KCAI called Home Grown.

You can view more of Elizabeth’s work here.

Tin House Reels is a weekly feature on The Open Bar dedicated to the craft of short filmmaking. Curated by Ilana Simons, the series features videos by artists who are forming interesting new relationships between images and words.

We are now accepting submissions for Tin House Reels. Please upload your videos of 15 minutes or less to Youtube or Vimeo and send a link of your work to tinhousereels@gmail.com. You may also send us a file directly.

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