Ways we know

Movement and dance have been used to understand ourselves in the world, our relationships with each other and with the environment. Movement analyst Rudolf Laban (1879-1958) developed the idea of a human Movement Choir in 1919, where dancers moved as a united body – one voice. Hanny Exiner (? – 2007) used the Movement Choir within her Sphere of Human Movement, a teaching framework she developed for integrating a dancer’s internal, social and external landscapes. Psychotherapist Denis Kelynak, who worked extensively with Exiner, has worked with clients to experience themselves as herds of creatures. In a score developed for this work, each person moves as a different creature, yet is part of the herd. Participants develop a heightened awareness of self, other and environment.

Drawing and animation have been used to respond to and articulate observations and experiences. Animator Tim Webb used drawing and animation for working with autistic people, to make the film, A is for Austism (1992). Drawing and animating with a group of gifted autistic people, he learned something of their internal and external landscapes. With their voices, drawings and animations, he developed a film that reflects something of their world, reflecting his understanding.

Art and science can reveal patterns observed and experienced in the natural world. Artists and scientists aim to communicate their understandings as clearly as possible. Building on existing knowledge, they work by trial and error, improvising with materials at hand to find the clear solution. Karin Beaumont’s wearable art reflects her knowledge as a scientist. As a marine biologist of the Antarctic, she understands deeply how climate change threatens its life-forms. Moved to provide them with a voice, and to transmit the fact of our human connection with them, she shapes marine life forms to physically connect with ours – as jewelery. Hers is a lucid solution, embodying scientific knowledge in art.

In this research, human movement, drawing, and animation are being used to respond to what scientists, artists, and other expeditioners are telling us about Antarctic’s changing landscape. Gestures and images made by a group of artists and dancers, are forms of visual listening that reveal many perspectives from which Antarctic landscape can imaginatively be mapped and communicated.


More trouble with WordPress!

Three Comments posted here last week have vanished. These were messages between myself and the animator Tim Webb.

I asked him to clarify which drawings had already been made, and which were produced specially for the film. I wanted to know whether he was working with a storyboard, or allowed the drawings to suggest a line of thought.

I also asked him to explain more of the process involved in working collaboratively with the young artists.

I commented that the drawings were naive, and the the animation was sophisticated, and that I found that combination quite engaging.

Tim Emailed me another comment, which I am placing here:

Dear Lisa
Your link no longer has the questions in, to clarify what i remember

The opening scene of animation – a chronology of childrens drawing from scribbles to sophistication based on a Lorna Self book as i remember and maybe a series of slides i saw – were based on a series of drawing made in workshops in schools I did with various aged kids- I simply asked them to draw themselves.

All the other animation in the film was based on existing drawing from 5 different artists- some still drawing others not. That is all except: 1 sequence of Daniels which was ‘worksop’, a siding I took him to, to draw from life- a remarkable sequence. The other drawing done by Daniel especially for the film was the end credits. I was the only person working with Daniel on his animation- he did all the animation for his sequence and myself or Ron MacRae slowed down his drawing ie inbetweened in London.

Most of the train drawings were Daniel’s, though some were made by Darren White( not his real name )his drawing has a different style. I do not feel the drawings naive as they are quite accurate representations of the trains nuts a bolts etc and in good perspective, Daniel was 9 when i made the film. Some of Darren’s drawings of the underground were done when his was 6 as i remember, he was a young adult when i made the film.

hope this clears things up

best tim