007.10.2016 / by Dante Penman

Although the primary function of this sculpture and animation blog is to document my own progress, I will occasionally share media that has inspired my creativity. I am always fascinated to learn about the creative processes and influences of other artists, particularly when it explains the provenance of a piece that I like or gives clarity to the process.

First up, Takahide Hori's Junk Head.

This short movie is fairly new to me, but was pivotal in reviving my interests in animation and sculpture. The characters behaviour and some aspects of the style remind me a lot of Nick Park's Wallace & Gromit animations that I grew up watching on television, although the visual element is vastly different. Junk Head took four years to make on a small budget and was mostly a solo project which is inspiring in itself, with my situation being firmly within that realm of limitations such as time commitment, budget and so on.

I highly recommend visiting YAMIKEN to see some incredible set design for Junk Head as well as other projects.

Next, a long-time inspiration that goes beyond the world of stop-motion, The Quay Brother's 1986 adaption of Street of Crocodiles (Bruno Schulz, 1934).

I first saw Street of Crocodiles while studying Photography at University and it had a profound influence on my interest in studio lighting and set design. It taught me about controlling the environment of a photograph and that controlled approach led me back into wanting to animate. As a newcomer to animation it has been daunting to watch contemporary animation that has large teams dedicated to facial movements and so forth, while the Quay Brothers have given permission to build a static puppets head that relies on light and shadow to convey emotions. They have also widened the parameters of puppet-making for me, allowing me to look at unconventional mechanisms as potential body parts and seeing beauty in the grotesque.