an animated book alteration: the age of fable

Is it possible to create some sort of connection between book art and the digital media? I have been asking myself and sharing my thoughts about this issue for some time now.

I have then decided to indulge in some experimentation, and here is the result of one of them: a combination of book alteration and stop motion illustration that has been used as a scene for the theatre show headsbodieslegs I mentioned on my previous post.

Each frame has been painted directly onto the pages of a found anthology of allegories and myths: the spreads have then been scanned and animated.

My design took most of the inspiration by William Blake’s’ bold use of human form and by his unconventional way of placing text and illustration within the page: in some case he intervened directly on books that had already been printed, offering an early example of book alteration.

Here are some images from of his Illuminated Books and engravings:

William Blake: First book of Urizen

William Blake: First book of Urizen

10-william-blake-night-thoughts_900

William Blake: Night Thoughts

William Blake: The House of Death

William Blake: The House of Death

In order to offer different levels of reading, some frames of my animation are directly inspired by iconic works of art and suggest references to the same myths and allegories described in the found book.

For example, the creation of the two figures from the tree recalls the transformation of Daphne into a tree, carved by Bernini.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini: Apollo e Dafne

Gian Lorenzo Bernini: Apollo and Daphne

In the looped scene between the two figures, the roles of power and submission are continuously interchanged; the presence of opposite feelings and inconsistent reactions confuses and disturbs: this reminds the fratricidal fight between Cain and Abel depicted in Keith Vaughan’s painting.

Keith Vaughan: Cain and Abel

Keith Vaughan: Cain and Abel

In the same scene, a moment of mercy is directly inspired by Michelangelo’s sculpture.

Michelangelo: Pietà

Michelangelo: Pietà

The transformation of the main character into a man-eating monster takes its iconographic inspiration from late medieval representation of Hell such as Giotto’s Last Judgement or Coppo di Marcovaldo’s mosaic.

Coppo di Marcovaldo: Last Judgment (Hell)

Coppo di Marcovaldo: Last Judgement (Hell)

Here are some images of the book:

Linda Toigo: The age of fable (detail), 2012

Linda Toigo: The age of fable (detail), 2012

Linda Toigo: The age of fable (detail), 2012

Linda Toigo: The age of fable (detail)

Linda Toigo: The age of fable (detail), 2012

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One comment

  1. I love these! Animate mine.

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