My time as a US Fulbright scholar working as an artist-in-residence at Q21/MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, Austria, was life changing. I am new to the field of animation and as a result of my time in Austria, I was able to build a community for my project. My host institution, Tricky Women, the world’s first and only animation festival for women artists, was instrumental in my success.
From Feb to May 2022, I wrote the script for my forthcoming animation in community with three award-winning women animators from Argentina, Brazil, and France who helped critique my script and make it better. Furthermore, on International Women’s Day I attended the annual Tricky Women/Tricky Realities animation festival, where I saw hundreds of feminist animations and met many talented women animators from all over the world. The opportunity to be immersed in that experience was inspirational for my own work because each artist took the time to discuss my animation and offer their guidance and support.
My forthcoming animation, “Amazons, Goddesses and Wonder Women: An Animated Antidote to Gender Misconceptions,” translates my iconic wood sculptures into 3D digital avatars and sets my women warrior characters into a virtual world where they will fight against injustice to make the world a better place. As a wood sculptor, I am used to working alone in my studio and having complete control over my sculptures, which typically take a few weeks or a month to complete. Working on a short animation with numerous collaborators is very different, and it requires different skills. For example, my current project requires me to manage and direct the contributions of professional animators and CG artists, student scholar partners, interns, poets, and audio engineers over the course of multiple years. My Fulbright experience gave me the confidence to move forwards with this project with courage and determination knowing that I have the support of my new animation community.
After I returned to my home institution, the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center, I was invited to present my work in the Kniznick Gallery. Alongside my wood sculptures and the animation in progress, I invited my new colleagues from the UK, Ukraine, and Brazil that I met at the Tricky Women Animation Festival to exhibit their animations in my exhibition. This type of artistic exchange is a direct result of my Fulbright experience. Building these international connections allows me to promote the work of these talented women in the USA and to broaden the reach of their artistic output. This means everything to me.
Thank you for this life-changing opportunity!