111. Love on the Wing – Norman McClaren

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SUMMARY: An advert for the GPO in which envelopes, lips, a man, a woman, a horse, a bee and many other shapes dance and morph in front of strange background landscapes.

WHY IT’S HERE: Pioneering animator Norman McLaren, like Len Lye before him, used advertising for the GPO as an excuse to create thrilling experimental animation. ‘Love on the Wing’ finds McLaren experimenting with the technique of drawing directly onto film, which creates big, bold white line shapes. The smooth, graceful dance that emerges incorporates an amazing amount of images into the relatively short running time, the final image being a contract-fulfilling image of a weight, some coins and an airmail envelope. Despite it having included this commercial message, the GPO were not pleased with McLaren’s work and only gave it restricted distribution. But today ‘Love on the Wing’ is recognised as the first great work of a much revered animator.

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