There’s a case to be made for self-seriousness in art, but most of my favourite works are at least as playful as they are provocative. And few animators I know of today embody that sense of play in their work better than Lizzy Hobbs. Based out of Hackney, her work seems to parallel what we try to encourage here at Quickdraw, from her collaborative projects with school groups and local communities, to an emphasis on hands-on, rough-edged animation using easily accessible materials. And above all, there’s a sense of giddiness in each film, a joy in the process of animation that’s as important as any formal techniques.
G-AAAH is a perfect example of that approach. At a glance it looks a bit silly, a typographic animation depicting a plane in flight, abstracted to the point that the sound is almost as essential as the video in understanding what’s happening. But as a tribute to Amy Johnson, an early hero of aviation who worked as a typist in 1930s Australia, it’s an ingenious blend of form and subject. Rendered on a portable typewriter, you can see the film as Johnson’s daydreams manifesting through a dreary day job, the excitement of early aviation rendered in a few pieces of punctuation and some dabs of colour. It is an unconventional portrait, but thanks to Hobbs’ playful approach, it packs a lot of meaning into a minute of animation.