Evelyn Lambart, filmmaker and close associate of Norman McLaren, died Saturday, April 3 at the age of 84.
Lambart studied commercial art at the Ontario College of Art. On graduation, she worked for a year and a half doing illuminations for Canada's Book of Remembrance. She began work at the National Film Board as a letterer in 1942. At that time, the only ones doing animation at the NFB were Norman McLaren and Guy Glover. One day, McLaren asked her to help with some heraldic devices for a film he was working on and, with her experience in illuminating, she was able to do a very good job. So began a long-lasting and very productive partnership, with Lambart often perfecting the tools McLaren needed and suggesting materials to produce the varied textures in his films. It was a partnership based on mutual respect; Lambart is credited as co-director on six of the eight films she made with him. Her collaboration with Norman McLaren produced Begone Dull Care/Caprice En Couleurs, Now is the Time, Around is Around, A Chairy Tale/Il Était une Chaise, Le Merle, Short and Suite, Lines-Vertical/Lignes Verticales, Lines-Horizontal/Lignes Horizontales, and Mosaic/Mosaique.
In the early 1960s, McLaren became interested in ballet films, which held no interest for Lambart, so she started thinking about doing her own films. She perfected the technique of paper cutouts transferred to lithograph plate which she would then paint and animate. She used this technique in seven award-winning films: Fine Feathers (1968), The Hoarder (1969), Paradise Lost (1970), The Story of Christmas (1973), Mr. Frog Went A-Courting (1974), The Lion and the Mouse (1976) and The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse/Le Rat de maison et le Rat des champs (1980).