So much art is about painstakingly constructing another world in which a viewer can utterly lose themselves. It’s safe to say that Anna Ginsburg’s new project does just that, creating an alternate universe peppered with flabby bellies, sweet little willies and more sinister moments, like drowning in an upright box. The animation was created for the music video of former Beta Band frontman Steve Mason’s new single Planet Sizes, and takes the song’s themes of our relationship with nature, and breaking free from a cycle of gazing downwards to form its loose narrative.
We see a series of naked, colourful characters morphing into mushroomy shapes that become their heads. These are loosely based on the illustrations created for the album artwork by Olivia Bullock, and Anna reinterpreted those characters to create her first completely hand-drawn video. It was a mammoth task, and Anna worked with Loup Blaster, Joe Mortimer and Toby Mortimer to create watercolour colour gradients which were then scanned in and looped, and the whole project took a total of three months.
“The video is about the idea of people not looking up, and always looking down, and the effect it can have on you,” Anna explains. “The landscape represents a feeling of being repressed, so all the movements are really monotonous and repetitive. The characters’ heads sometimes dribble into holes when they look down, or people walk down escalators so they’re going nowhere.”
At points the animation veers into more abstract territory – the “cosmic sequences” – with shapes and lines inspired by artists like Joan Miró and the mobile sculptures of Alexander Calder.
However, we always return to our central characters, loosely representing Steve himself, according to Anna. “When the mushroom bursts, he has a head again, and he’s just flying around naked with his little willy,” she explains. “It’s all about his connection with nature and the universe, but at the end it’s kind of depressing, as he ends up back in the hole.”
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