Joanna Priestly is a director, animator, and producer whose work maintains a high level of porosity between serious exploration of boundaries and intuitive whimsy—she is dedicated to experimentation in technique, theme, and content.Artist Bio
Surface Dive is made with three layers of abstract artwork, which have been shot on a multi-plane animation stand. On the top layer there are replacement animation sculptures (about 600 total), with frosted/etched/molded glass (about 150 pieces) on the middle level and pastel and watercolor paintings (about 2,200 paintings) on the bottom level. Each level was animated separately. To create the replacement animation sculptures, Priestley first made a shape out of Sculpey and then made a silicone mold around the shape. Next she constructed molded sculptures and organized them into an animated sequence. The sculptures were filed, sanded, gessoed, painted with acrylics, and sprayed with a final topcoat of clear acrylic. The ability to render highly detailed surfaces distinguishes replacement animation from clay or foam laytex animation.
Joanna Priestley has directed, animated, and produced 31 films, including the abstract animated feature North of Blue, and the iOS app Clam Bake. Her work maintains a high level of porosity between serious exploration of boundaries and intuitive whimsy, and she is dedicated to experimentation in technique, theme, and content. Priestley has had retrospectives at the British Film Institute, Museum of Modern Art, Center for Contemporary Art, American Cinematheque, Hiroshima International Animation Festival, Jeonju International Film Festival, Animation Masters Summit and Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Film Institute, MacDowell Colony, Fundación Valparaíso and Creative Capital. Priestley was founding president of ASIFA Northwest and she is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where she annually juries the Oscars, Student Academy Awards and the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. Priestley’s other passions include medicinal herbalism and creating projects at Burning Man and she lives next to the forest in Portland, Oregon with her husband, director/production designer Paul Harrod.
Photo: Tim Sugden