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STILL LIFE WITH SMALL CUP
1995 - 3.30 mins - 35mm - colour
Scratched on film animation
Produced, directed, photographed, animated and edited by Paul Bush
Sound design - Andy Cowton
An Ancient Mariner Production commissioned by the London Production Fund for Carlton Television and the London Arts Board.

A radical reworking of an etching by the Italian artist Giorgio Morandi, brought to life by engraving frame by frame directly into the photographic emulsion of colour filmstock. The viewer is taken on a journey through the etching, accompanied by the sounds that the artist might have heard from his window as he worked. 'I believe that nothing can be more abstract, more unreal, than what we actually see. We know that all we can see of the objective world never really exists as we see it and understand it. Matter exists of course, but has no intrinsic meaning, such as those we attach to it. Only we know that a cup is a cup, that a tree is a tree.' - Giorgio Morandi 1890-1964

'The viewer is witness to an image, a work of art, coming into being and taking shape... Bush is able to hold, develop and satisfy the viewer's curiosity in part by setting up a puzzle - what do these lines represent? - that becomes a narrative through the compelling interplay of image and sound... What we have here is an image of the labour of art. If Bush's work is a homage-in-film to an artist who worked in a different medium, it is one that seeks to explore and indicate the equivalences between the two through a concentration on the specific formal technique employed by himself and Morandi.' - Chris Darke

An enlargement of the engraving was shot on 16mm black and white. The negative was optically enlarged to 35mm eight perf colour filmstock. This was then scratched by hand frame by frame on top of the negative image of the engraving. When completed it was optically reduced to normal 35mm positive film. At the same time each frame was copied three times to slow down the speed of the whole film and the rhythm of the scratched marks.

Special Recognition Award - Zagreb Animation Festival 1996
Art and Animation touring programme (Portugal)

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