7 April 2010
Transformation emerged out of a DAO commission for an oral life history of disabled visual artist Nancy Willis by Allan Sutherland. Sutherland’s commission involved his turning his interviews into a series of transcription poems.
The creation of Sutherland’s set of poems: The Explorer led Willis into a reassessment of her life's work. She responded with a series of animations combining previously made paintings, prints, photographs and film.
This material was carefully selected, often representing the original artworks that inspired the poems, but transformed through the time-based medium of animation. Musician and artist Chris Morris (aka Christopher Pigeom) composed original music for the animation and contributed pieces from his collaborative project 'Six Foot Pigeon'. This experimental soundtrack forms a mysterious counterpoint to Nancy's more traditional approach as a painter and printmaker.
The themes in Transformation partly emerge from external difficulties and partly from those inner conflicts, which are rarely explored territory in the struggle for equality and human rights. The animations explore complex ideas about the nature of memory, identity and disability, catching fragments of the past, which might be lost forever if not documented in some way.