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Animation (MA)

Lianne Milward

ContractionA video of animation used in the installation 'Contraction'
Documentation of installation 'Contraction' at RCA

About the work

Contraction is a multi-channel installation that uses animated loops to examine lockdown through the individual experience of habits, obsessions and rituals.

Using the concept of repetition and difference, this non-narrative work charts the journey of precise and intentional actions into a space of uncertainty and chaos.

Through the repetition and variation of everyday actions, the familiar becomes difficult to understand. The loops overlap, contrast, correspond and finally erupt in a climax of pattern and deviation.

I wanted to examine being in a time and space where many things became unfamiliar. I started with the question ‘What did it mean to experience an event individually but also at the same time as millions of other people?’ Is there such a thing as a collective experience of distance? Because of the nature of the subject - lockdown, confinement, I felt it is important to conceive of the piece from the very beginning as an installation that allows for multiple viewpoints and shared experience.

The work is rear-projected onto a curved triptych made up of three hanging frosted polypropylene sheets. Rear projection allows the audience to move around the space and view the piece from multiple positions without interrupting the image.

The project began with interviews, was sharpened with research [reading Delueze’s ‘Repetition and Difference’ was a big input]  and progressed with drawings and other media through a practice-led approach.

I used hand-drawn pencil, colour-pencil, pastel, gel-pens, digital 2D and paint on glass to animate. Projections were synced using TouchDesigner.

Animation, Direction: Lianne Milward

Sound design: Joaquin Rodriguez San Pedro

Sound mix: Joaquin Rodriguez San Pedro + Joe Hirst

Personal tutor: Céline Stolz

Technical assistance: Kevin Lee, Guy Nesfield

mock of of installation
projected image of lungs with projector seen underneath screen
photo of installation mock up from behind showing computer and projectors
photo of installation mockup - three rear projections
photo of installation mock up
image of projected animation

A selection of images showing the development of the installation through mockups

hand drawn frame still of hands putting on glove
paint-on-glass frame still of hands washing apple
hand drawn frame still using pastel of hands taking off glove
paint-on-glass and digital frame still of hands washing
hand drawn frame still of handswashing apple
paint-on-glass frame still of lungs
paint-on-glass frame still of girl at the balcony
paint-on-glass frame still of hands washing an apple
hand drawn frame still using colour pencil of hands putting on gloves
hand drawn frame still of hands washing apple
photo by Irushi Tennekoon of Lianne animating in studio with rostrum set up
photo by Irushi Tennekoon of Lianne animating in studio with rostrum set up

A selection of stills from Contraction as well as photographs* of Lianne animating in a studio with a rostrum set up.

* photo credit: Irushi Tennekoon

Lianne is an animator and artist who works with 2D digital, hand drawn and rotoscope animation in conjunction with installation. She uses her practice to examine the world around her with a focus on human experience.

With a background in painting, Lianne has previously held residencies in St George’s Hospital in London, Intercambiador in Madrid as well as being a part of LCN with SPACE studios. Since starting the course she has set up the RCA Animation Society and been involved with other students producing a sting for LIAF in 2022.

Lianne came to the RCA to follow her passion in animation, broaden her practice and develop directorial skills. 

Her final piece will be an animation-based installation using loops to examine individual experience of habits, rituals and obsessions during the global collective confinement during Covid lockdowns.

Photograph of Lianne at work in studio

My practice sits in and beyond the screen, inhabiting the creative space between animation, art and installation.  

I am interested in examining human experience, often through the lens of health or the impact of digital technology. I’ve always strived to create work that can be understood and openly interpreted by the individual audience. 

It is important to counteract the singular visual focus we have on screens, and develop ways to experience the visual language of animation beyond a single viewpoint. I believe that to place the audience within a space is an antithesis of the screen. 

Whilst a conceptual underpinning is important to my process, I let work evolve through an intuitive practice-led approach. My departure from painting has seen animation opening and changing the way I work. Drawing is central to my practice as a thinking process as well as a way of making. Thus Animation, in the literal practice of bringing drawings to life, becomes a supremely magical way to communicate. 

Throughout my time at the RCA I’ve been driven to make work with as much playfulness and experimentation as possible. This has involved a lot of 2D animation using a rostrum camera and techniques ranging from stop motion and riso printing to paint on glass. 

My final piece is a multi-channel installation using animated loops to examine individual habits, rituals and obsessions within the collective context of the global covid lockdowns.