The Making of ‘Cadillac’

So here we have it, a stop-motion animation of the making of one layer of Cadillac. This is the seventh layer in the artwork so by now I’m familiar with the natural rhythms of the piece and the scope I have for subverting this. The concept behind the Structured Chaos series is exactly what the title suggests in that there is both structure and chaos. The structure in Cadillac comes from the cuts created in the previous layer. As this artwork descends through the layers so the cuts will descend beyond anything recognisable and into chaos. I expect the final layers will have no visual comparisons to the first layer.

I cut using the previous layer as a reference but to be honest I usually ignore it and go with my instincts. At the seventh layer there are still a few markers which can be recognised from earlier layers. At the end of the video I have assembled all these early layers together so you can see how the work is progressing.

All of this cutting takes place on the reverse side of the final artwork. It is very rare that I look at the image on the front. Instead I prefer to study Ben Honebone’s original photograph for long periods away from my studio and react accordingly with my scalpel after.

Making the film was a challenge. I wanted it to run fast enough to keep you there until the end but also give you time to acknowledge what is happening. If I went for half a second per frame then the film would last for over 7 minutes. If it’s running a little fast then I figure you know where the pause button is at. Physically this type of work is gruelling and I am already aching due to the intensity of sitting at my workspace for so long. I’m hoping to be filming an excerpt from the next layer tomorrow at a closer range to emphasize the detailing of my cuts. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

Meanwhile click on the picture to see how I make my art:

Making ‘Cadillac’


2 thoughts on “The Making of ‘Cadillac’

  1. Thank you for posting the stop-frame animation, Melanie – it gives an insight into your working methods. Congratulations on achieving this, and also on not spilling the tea! The animation process has intriguing possibilities, and I thank you for sharing it.

    • Thanks Richard. I did cut my thumb half way through this video (my first slip in 4 years). I’ll post more of these soon.

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