Machteld Aardse: Still Picture Shadow Animation

Mentor: John Heymans

External reviewer: Karim Benammar

Enschede, 2007


The works of Lotte Reiniger, William Kentridge and Kara Walker, three important artists, demonstrate that the traditional art of still picture shadow animation is a powerful medium. It is not only effective in converting imaginary scenes into perceived realities, but also in allowing the viewer a different and more realistic look to the surrounding world. The inherent handcrafted intensive approach and technique appear to cover an important niche despite the abundance of electronic film technologies.

As a consequence the medium should be regarded as contemporary and not as old fashioned. The examples illustrate this effectiveness also in a social-political context. It is recommended to applying modern technology whilst maintaining the original strength and capabilities of the traditional still picture shadow animation medium.
This last part proves to be essential, as we will discover.