• Mushroom Thief

Ashworth, Joan, 2010, Art or design object, Mushroom Thief

Abstract or Description:

This experimental short film was conceived, written and directed by Ashworth, and developed with the support of Seed Fold Films. The project builds on visual experiments with liquid environments begun in How Mermaids Breed (Ashworth 2002), through which Ashworth invented a new material, ‘graspable water’. Mushroom Thief explored another surface area with a dual identity, ‘liquid meadow’, across which the film’s heroine is able to move freely, diving through its membrane into a liquid representation of earth. Mushroom Thief was developed using innovative digital tools, facilitating outdoor stop-frame animation with instant playback. This early use of portable digital stop-frame tools has been readily adopted by a new generation of filmmakers.

The script for Mushroom Thief was developed though creative writing workshops organised by author and RCA-based AHRC Fellow in Creative and Performing Arts, Deborah Levy. Levy also assisted in the initial research into visual and literary sources, including liquid meadows and the symbolism of hares and hunters, to inform the narrative of the film, which plays on the close bond found between women, water and earth. In the film, the young male hunter is unable to access the liquidity of the meadow, sliding on its hard surface. The film was produced in collaboration with cinematographer Hugh Gordon, actors Clare Bennett and James Hutchison, and composer Philippe Ciompi.

The film was screened at a number of international events, including the ‘Edinburgh International Film Festival’ (2011), ‘Ottawa International Animation Festival’, Canada (2010) and ‘Melbourne International Animation Festival’ (2011). Marking a change in the appeal of Ashworth’s work to contemporary arts audiences, Mushroom Thief was also presented in the ‘Moves11: Intersections’ exhibition at The Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool (2011) and in a programme titled ‘Into the Woods’, curated by Marina Warner for the Deloitte Ignite Contemporary Arts Festival, Royal Opera House, London (2010).

CinematographerGordon, Hugh
ActorHutchinson, James
ActorBennet, Clare
ComposerCiompi, Philippe
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W600 Cinematics and Photography > W610 Moving Image Techniques > W613 Film & Sound Recording
School or Centre: School of Communication
Copyright Holders: Seed Fold Films & Joan Ashworth
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2011 16:23
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 14:23
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/421
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