ADA (7 mins.35mm. 2002)
Written, directed and animated by Lee Whitmore ADA was made as part of the SBS Independent series of commissioned animations ‘Home Movies’.
Lee a young girl is witness to her grandmother’s daily ritual of shelling the peas. The entire action of ADA takes place in a domestic dining room, in Sydney around the middle fifties. Ada is a woman in her eighties now living with her daughter Val and Val’s husband and children. The time frame of the film covers the recurring activity- shelling the peas - each evening over a period of years. Time passing is suggested by a combination of long dissolves, small changes in domestic detail, fresh fruit in the bowl, small changes in Ada’s attire, and simple changes of season and weather evident from the view through the large window. Humour and frustration is revealed in the interaction between Ada and her grandchildren Lee and Kent and between Ada and the family cat.
I made ADA using charcoal and pastel drawings. Working for the first time in a straight ahead fashion directly under a 35mm rostrum camera I manipulated large images made on heavy art paper. I used a process of drawing, rubbing ‘out’ and drawing ‘in’ the next position. The effect of this gives each moment in the film continual reference to the process, a trace of all the drawings remaining forever in the image.