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Animators Unearthed - Stephanie Maxwell

Every Monday, Chris Robinson serves up Animators Unearthed, a brief introduction to prominent and not-so-prominent indie animators. This week he screens the work of experimental filmmaker, Stephanie Maxwell.

'Ocean' by Stephanie Maxwell

Stephanie Maxwell’s work gets me. Her work is fuelled by a breathless, giddy energy and passion that seeps through every whore of a pore.  She has a tenacious fascination with the natural world; a world that too many of us (myself included) have left behind in favour of simulated realities.

Maxwell sees the world from a perspective we’ve forgotten. 

What I enjoy about Maxwell’s work is that I can FEEL her energy, passion, and love coming through every damn whore of a pore. She’s a lot like my kid. Gets so excited about a seemingly minute discovery – like an anthill. Maxwell’s work is an extension of that explorative part of our childhood. Only now- using an assortment of objects and technologies – Maxwell takes us deep down into new layers of these little worlds that she’s discovered. She shows us what she sees and we do not often see.

Maxwell’s work is a vacation without tourist markers, just the peripheral sights, sounds and sensations experienced whether it’s trolls in Norway (Nocturne, 1999), night driving (Driving Abstraction, 1997), water, or time itself (Time Streams, 2003)

“The works are open,” she once told me. “They go into these worlds… and it’s not ending…it keeps going… you’re getting a moment with it and then its says okay…this is the end of your ride. Typically, I pull back and return to initial images and sounds… and for me that keeps it open—the beginning is the ending is the beginning again. Infinite. Can return at any time.”

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A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.