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Unravelling the Manor

Unravelling the Manor was a site-specific exhibition of twelve contemporary fine art and craft artists presented by Unravelled, a group of artists working with craft in alternative, innovative and conceptual ways.

“By hitching up the Manor’s skirts and finding the stories hidden underneath, we’ve made this home a little less stately than it would like to believe itself to be.” Matt Smith, co-director of Unravelled and exhibiting Artist.

I was interested in creating a repeat pattern that moved. So I focussed on the seventeen servants that worked at the house in the early 1900s and the sort of lives they would have led and their repetitive tasks. Inspired by the animation techniques of Lotte Reiniger, I cut silhouette hinged figures and made separate short stop-motion animations. Rather than fill a wall with the design, I wanted to animate an object. So the sequences are back-projected onto the screenprinted dressing screen.

I found the ceaseless process of animating the figures quite boring so the sequences became more playful as I tried to give the characters mischievous qualities.