"Invested" - a digital animation
A commissioned digital animation about community and inclusion.
On display from April 9 to June 21st 2021 at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery ( NOW CLOSED).
I was approached to create a projection animation for “The Vault” at the Bundaberg Regional Gallery in 2020.
The brief was, brief and open ended;
“Create an animation that gently introduces the greater community to “The Arts”.
I immediately began to visualize a hopeful, easily digestible animation about community and inclusion.
The animation opens to the journey of a small tree, struggling to survive, who is joined by a little bird who is too sad to fly. The tree reaches out to the bird and a connection is formed.
It is at this point colour starts to bleed into their monotone world. Both the tree and the bird benefit from the connection they have made. The tree grows leaves because it has a new purpose - to provide for the bird. The bird loves the tree and the protection it offers.
A figure struggles to emerge from the ground and looks around.
It spies the bird and calls it over. It flies and they form a connection. The figure and bird both go red to symbolize their shared purpose.
The bird stays with the figure and directs it over to the tree. They thank the tree for its food and shelter and form a connection.
The figure grows wings and the tree grows fruit and spreads its roots as their connection to each other strengthens.
A forest grows.
The central figure embraces their new ability to fly and becomes absorbed by it. Then they see that their newly found empowerment can help others.
They see figures trying to emerge from the earth and realize that they can help them, uplift them.
As each figure is pulled from the ground, the little bird offers support, and the figures are flooded with colour and a sense of purpose. The colour change is also reflected on the multi colour dots that the bird gains and act as a symbol of how our interactions affect those around us.
As the figures are pulled from the ground, they hold hands to support each other.
Once all the figures have emerged, the flying protagonist lands and all the characters link hands, completing a circuit of sorts, which allows the sharing of ideas and values between the characters and is represented by the stripes of colour.
The empowerment that unity affords, allows the characters to grow wings and become independent and confident in their abilities. They all fly away with a determination to look after their planet and help to elevate the people they come across on their journey.
Once the animation ends, it is replayed at high speed in reverse. You watch the characters become separate entities, lose their wings, lose their colour and be planted in the ground. You see the forest disappear and the landscape become barren. You see the bird and the tree separate and lose their colour. I included this as a possible outcome for what happens when we don’t engage in our communities, when we don’t invest our time, effort, and kindness into the way we live daily.
And then the movie begins again and hope returns.
During the playing of this animation the audience is seated on artificial grass quite close to the screen, so that the overhead projection plays onto their bodies. The colours grow in brightness and saturation as the animation progresses to make the viewer feel like a part of the installation.
The animation is also played at a low height on the wall, so that children may feel most involved in the screening.