Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Continuing Magic of the Kells


Pam and I saw the most brilliant animated feature the other night.. The Secret of Kells.. I think I'm late to the party on the film, but it spoke to me in some rather interpersonal ways.. So much so, that there's no explaining them all.. Something like Samurai Jack it was wonderfully 2d and linear in technique, looking much like the animation of the 50's and 60's, but in terms of content it was simply an Illustrators movie.. Illumination, Traditional alchemy of mordant Ink and parchment, the fight between administrative causes and creative spirit, the bond between Mythology Religion and Art, Knot work the likes of Kells and Durrow.. and the very definition of the root of Illustration.. Illustrare :: Bringing that which is darkness into Light! These are pieces of illustration history that have sparked off a lifelong fire in more than just this illustrator, and for good reason.. My last year of school, and the following five, were spent studying Celtic book illumination and Craft, knot work and the similarities to fractal chaos.. It was also the inspiration for many of the books and typography of Morris' Kelmscott Press, much of Jim Fitzpatrick's work and countless other creatives throughout history.. I wept when I saw the Kelmscott Chauser for the first time, and I don't doubt this is the very reason why Trinity College keeps the Book of Kells under glass, lest some idiot like myself unwittingly moisten it's pages.. =)
The accents and mannerisms also brought back memories and smiles for my surrogate Family the Koras, and Nan Tulips, with her beautiful Scottish brogue!! My blood family is partially British/Scotts but here were the mysterious accents of my youth popping off, right alongside my artistic sensibilities in a mixing that at times brought an Ancient shiver up my spine.. One scene was particularly so.. Where the keeper of the Forest, frees the hero from his uncles lock & key with the help of a tiny spell upon a white cat.. Pangur Ban..
On further study of the lyrics, I found that this sequence was a take on a piece of history.. Pangur Ban or White Cat was the title of a tiny poem written by an ancient Irish monk, bored of transcription, and watching the abbey cat hunt mice.. The poem was written in Gaelic, not Latin, in the margins of a massive illuminated page.!! Ancient, linguistic disobedience and multi-culturalism at play without anyone knowing for years.. =) Don't really think I can love that enough.. =)
Well Folks, keep a look out for my Update Mailer sometime this week, and stay tuned !!

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2 Comments:

Blogger Jeff said...

The missus and I stumbled on his film last year, and really enjoyed it. The music was nice, but the stylistic treatments of the characters and environments make it a truly unique masterpiece.

8:31 PM EDT  
Blogger Chuck said...

Hey an actual legitimate comment !?! Enhancement drugs, no.. Russian bride site, no..?? Thanks for the reply, Jeff !! =)

Me Lass an I loved this movie as well.!! Wasn't sure if I'd like the abstractions, but what an Illustrators movie!! Ancient BookCraft and ink mordanting, play major parts, no less.. =)

I bow to your inner
Illustration Nerd,
Chuck

1:13 AM EDT  

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