'Time/Amser' work in progress.
While the rest of the UK was experiencing unseasonably hot weather for September, I was sitting in my middle room under studio lighting moving little shells, cogs, watches and wheels for several stop-motion animations with Tim Pugh from morning ‘til night. It was incredibly hot, a bit cramped, and I think we both went a little bit loopy for a couple of weeks, not least because we were both new to stop-motion and not really sure how it would all turn out.
The objects we chose for the animation are very familiar to me, my dad is a clockmaker so the house is full of intriguing bits and bobs, the inner workings of clocks, dials, hands, watch parts, and a clock dial made by Conwy’s most recent horologist. Alongside these items are natural objects reflecting the locality of Conwy – mussel shells, small snail shells collected at Conwy morfa, local pebbles, and a little bee. We are interested in the human obsession with time, the way we seek to control it by measuring the seconds and mapping out our days, and the fleeting nature of time.
These animations are inspired by a specific event in the castle’s history, when in 1401 the castle was besieged by Owain Glyndwr’s supporters and the town subsequently burnt to the ground. The time that has passed since that moment is vast and minute, so much has changed in this locality, but certain constants remain – the flow of the river, the turn of the tides and the rising and setting of the sun.
‘Time’ is pretty much finished now, Minimal Media have taken our thousands and thousands of images and worked some 3D magic, and Ed Wright has recorded some of the ticky tickers in my house and created a haunting soundtrack. Now we just need to get the animation to the technical people in London who will feed it into a machine that spits out light.
You can see some of the animations before the green-screen magic and post production here, imagine them 50 feet tall going off like fireworks on the front of Conwy Castle, then you know what we are hoping to achieve…