The Artists, The Animators

The Animators exhibition, at Angel Row Gallery Nottingham, Spacex Gallery Exeter and Ferens Art Gallery Hull, features seven UK artists who make a variety of different kinds of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, photographs and live events. What they have in common is that they all also make animations.

The exhibition is timely. Computer software packages now enable artists to work spontaneously with digital imagery, and it has never been easier to set still images in motion.

Paul Morrison Black Dahlias, 2004, courtesy of Alison Jacques Gallery, London

The term animation, usually associated with cartoons that have been drawn or of models moved frame by frame, has also recently expanded to include many kinds of alterations to real-time film footage. It now incorporates ail manner of film and video that has been ‘messed about with’. Rapid edits and cuts, repeats and reversals, speedings-up and slowings-down, collage effects and digital manipulations are ail thought of as animation techniques.

Artists, who tend to work experimentally with whatever medium they use, now often find their films categorised as animations.

Dryden Goodwin Two Thousand and Three, 2003, courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

The gulf between animation and other kinds of art in this exhibition - sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs - is not as big as we might think. The artists have worked experimentally in these art forms too, investing their chosen materials with compelling and sometimes unexpected qualities. What began as blank and characterless paper, paint and clay, for example, now has a curious kind of ‘life’. In other cases, objects have been taken and adapted and anthropomorphised.

The exhibition illustrates what it means when fine art - usually the stillest of all the art forms - begins to move. The work of each artist in The Animators is distinctive, but shared interests are discernible, the most prominent of which is, paradoxically, stillness.

Angela Kingston, curator

The artists represented in The Animators are Katy Dove, Paul Morrison, Vong Phaophanit & Claire Oboussier and three who have made animate! commissions Ann Course, Simon Faithfull and Dryden Goodwin.

More details in animate! Events of the exhibition at Angel Row Gallery, 3 December 2005 - 4 February 2006, Spacex Gallery (special version of the exhibition with animations only), 17 December 2005 - 25 February 2006, and Ferens Art Gallery, 13 May - 2 July 2006.

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