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The Life We Leave

February 2022

The Life We Leave is a fantastical mixed-media narrative exploring the life that exists in the objects around us, told through the eyes of a young girl and the unbreakable bond she shares with her toy cat.

The Life We Leave is a film dedicated to the memories imprinted as we pass through the world, in both objects and places, told though the eyes of a young girl who has decided to repair her broken toy cat. When the toy transforms into a shape-shifting oil pastel cat, it reveals to her eternal traces of history in a colourful blaze of oil pastel, discovered within every belonging in her room, as well as the world outside her window. For the film I wanted to take the complex conceptual idea of an internal life within objects and spaces, inspired by a page in Codex Seraphinianus as well as psychic automatic art, and present it in a simple but emotionally-sensitive narration that balanced a more abstract exploratory concept with simple childhood magic.

Inspired by the parallels between metamorphosis and thought progression (as explored in my Thesis), I chose to represent the idea of memories as sequences of metamorphosis, weaving through each other and becoming new forms, much like the tapestry of experiences that form our lives.

Stylistically, I felt it was paramount to reflect a tactility in the richness of memories, studying both the microscopic structures and textures of the objects I was spotlighting in the film. Backgrounds dyed with autumn leaves and stippled with pebbles create texture, from which the memories, in oil pastel cel animation, emerge, becoming identifiable memories, much to the young girl’s joy.

At its heart, this film hopes to create a space to reflect on the past that lies within everything around us, and the colourful rewards of valuing that unseen life.

Film Stills


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