William Kentridge: Drawing/Meditating

William Kentridge is a South African artist who creates animations out of charcoal drawings (among the many things he does). We went to his show at the St. Louis Art Museum last weekend,* then we watched the program about him on PBS’s Art21. He thinks big and doesn’t mind spending years on a project he is passionate about. In searching for more videos, I found this short video [requires Flash] on his process of turning charcoal drawings into animations.

He has one sheet of paper several feet from the camera. In an open-ended process, he draws, smudges, or erases on the paper, then walks to the camera to shoot two frames. His ideas, he claims, come to him on that short walk. This is a good lesson for me. I am Miss Efficiency, always squeezing the last few “excess” seconds out of a work process. Kentridge, on the other hand, uses his 4 seconds… 50 walks per 100 frames (4 seconds of film)… to access his deep consciousness about where he is going with his story.

I keep stumbling across this lesson: the need to find that quiet place between A and B, to let the muse (or the soul) speak.

The short video below will give you an idea of his work:


*although the projector was down so we couldn’t watch his animations.

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