“Things I Found in the Hedge”
Kathryn L. Darnell (director, animation)
Lucy English (writer, voice)
Country: USA / UK
“This film is the essence of graceful simplicity. Beautifully rendered calligraphy and botanical illustrations are animated in rhythm to a quietly textured soundtrack. This is without music – just a woman’s lilting voice accompanied by delicate environmental sounds. The poem is minimal in subject and gently humourous. It brings into focus the overlooked spaces and material details that exist beneath the radar of our busy days. There is subtle comment here on throwaway urban culture and natural processes of decay. The mood of this piece invites contemplation, relaxes the mind and feels like balm to the senses.” – Marie Craven
Kathryn (Kate) Darnell comes to poetry film only recently after several decades as a professional calligrapher and illustrator in traditional media. Her “animated calligraphics” grew out of experimental calligraphy on paper in which she layers words and uses transparency to create abstract manuscripts and calligraphic paintings. The intent is to express shapes and rhythms; both from the poetry she is representing and those inherent in the act of writing. Adding the element of time by animating the written letters was a natural development in this work that plays outside the boundaries of literal.
A native of Michigan in the U.S. and a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Art, Kate divides her time between commercial art and fine art practice. The former has been part of everything from children’s books to annual reports; from company logos to award certificates. In 2005 she designed her first font: Sweeney, a type design with both Celtic and Italic attributes. Her personal artwork is regularly exhibited in galleries, and she is also an adjunct professor of art, teaching drawing and color theory at Lansing Community College.
Lucy English (also the writer for our Second Prize winning entry) is a novelist and spoken word poet. She is Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Her current project ‘The Book of Hours’ is a re-imagining of a medieval book of Hours in poetry film form. She has been creating this over the last four years and the final project has 48 poetry films made with 27 collaborators. Find her online here and on Twitter.