Anu-Laura Tuttelberg is an artist based in Tallinn, Estonia. She works as a freelance film director and sculptor directing and designing puppet films. She makes set designs at animation studios and teaches puppet animation in Estonian Academy of Arts.
ANU-LAURA’S THOUGHTS ON ART AND FILM MAKING – ARTIST STATEMENT
For me stop-motion film is a technique which contains all the art mediums that fascinate me – photography, scenography, sculpture, film. It enables me to create a whole imaginary world out of nothing. In stop-motion film not a single detail is there by chance, everything in the film is intentional and has a reason or a meaning. What is so intriguing about animated film is that it is not limited in it’s visual design by reality as live-action film is. In stop-motion film I enjoy finding the balance between realism and stilization in design.
In my films I like to bring out the characteristics of stop-motion technique. To work with light, to use the technique’s own peculiarity – that the animation is created by photographing the movement frame by frame taking long time between the individual images and therefore leaving gaps in time and creating a new time. A time with multiple parallel movements, a slow and a fast time existing simultaneously. The slow time of the animator and the puppet while animating, the “real” time of the puppet moving in the film, and life passing by fast in the background.
Stop-motion film is like a concentration of time. It might take few years to make a film that is 5 minutes long. But those years are present in those five minutes. They are visible and sensible in the details, in the years of work, ideas, inspiration and persistency.
Making art is to reflect all the significant processes that surround us, in culture, in politics, in environment.. or what ever else that touches or irritates the artist or the society. The difference between a news reporter of a daily paper and an artist is that we are not here for selling thrilling disturbing and entertaining news, neither to just numb the society by showing how corrupt and hopeless is the world. We are to sense to study to process and to reflect the surrounding, and then to give it a form that touches the viewer and makes him/her want to notice and participate in the processes. I do not think that barely pointing out the problems or shocking the audience with information or ideas is enough anymore.
The artist bares a responsibility of with what she/he fills the audience’s conscience and thoughts. Filling their minds with morbidity and depressiveness without giving solutions or hope of a solution is simply recreating the passive and morbid thoughts. Watching (for example…) another masterfully conducted Russian movie at a film festival that shows the hopelessness of an individual trying to fight against the brutal system of a big state and being defeated in violence and terror I only get frustrated of not comprehending the author’s motives in that artwork. Why fill us with that kind of repressing nonhelpful information. The reasoning that but-the-film-affected-you!-It-doesn’t-matter-if-in-a-negative-manner.-It-means-it-was-a-strong-work! simply doesn’t work for me. Should not work anymore these days. I think we have passed this stage and now should move to a next step.
Working with stop-motion film one understands very quickly that only the result, the finished artwork, can not be the only goal of making the film. Yes it is true that even a tiny short animated film if it is created and conducted in great detail contains much more information and layers of ideas than you would expect from anything that last so shortly in time. But still the final result of the work, the finished film, is ridiculously insignificant to the artist herself after months and years of everyday work. Therefore for me it became evident very soon working in this technique that for me making my artworks will be about making them just as much as having the final work ready and presentable. This as well as the disliking of hiding myself in a dark studio space for years of the making process of the puppets and animating I decided to go work outdoors in the light, among nature and other people.
With my last project shooting the film in the Amazonian and Mexican jungles, living among local people in small villages in the forest, and also going through all those dragging painstaking efforts of finding financing in endless pitching forums for filmmakers and producers, not to mention the time consuming porcelain puppet making and animating itself, I have made my filmmaking more of a performance in itself than having the finalized film in my hands. All those people I have met during this process are already the viewers of my works, and the viewers of simply art making. I see that as a purpose on it’s own. My purpose as an artist is to show and be a live example that artmaking and creativity can be one’s way to live and to inspire people around for creativity and for looking out of their usual habitual mindset. In my way of working outdoors among local people where I shoot my films the artwork and artmaking reaches also the people who maybe themselves don’t choose to go and see art in galleries or theaters. And maybe they won’t even see the final result of the work but they already have been an audience and taken part in it.
Anu-Laura Tuttelberg graduated MA degree in animation at Estonian Academy of Arts in 2013. She made her first animation Fly Mill/ Kärbeste veski (2012) a puppet film as her graduation film. Fly Mill has screened in more than hundred festivals around the world and won numerous prizes. Her first film after graduation, a short animated film On The Other Side Of The Woods/ Teisel pool metsa premiered in June 2014 at Annecy International Animation Festival and has won three First Prizes and a Best Debut prize at festivals so far.
She has made set designs for short stop-motion animations such as Tik-Tak (2015) and Empty Space (2016) by Ülo Pikkov, The Lemonade Tale (2013) by Vallo Toomla in Nukufilm studio in Estonia and It’s About Time by Ivo Briedis (2014) in Atomart studio in Latvia. She also worked in the set design team of a feature stop-motion film Morten on the Ship of Fools by Kaspar Jancis (in Nukufilm Studio) which will be realeased in 2017.
Currently she is developing her new puppet film Winter In Rainforest/ Talv vihmametsas which will be shot outdoors in a rainforest with a 16 mm camera.
Animated short film On The Other Side Of The Woods / Teisel pool metsa, Nukufilm studio, Anu-Laura Tuttelberg, Estonian academy of Arts
Animated short film Fly Mill / Kärbeste veski, Estonian Academy of Arts
2016 production designer
Animated short film Empty Space, director Ülo Pikkov, studio Nukufilm
2015 puppet designer
Animated feature film Morten on the Ship of Fools / Morten lollide laeval, director Kaspar Jancis, studio Nukufilm
2015 production designer
Animated short film Tik-Tak, director Ülo Pikkov, studio Nukufilm
2013 production designer
Animated short film The Lemonade Tale / Limonaadilugu, director Vallo Toomla, studio Nukufilm
2012 production designer
Animated short film It’s About Time, director Ivo Briedis, studio Atomart, Latvia
Photo film Miss Julie, Estonian Academy of Arts
2009-2013 Estonian Academy of Art, animation department (MA)
2006-2009 Estonian Academy of Art, scenography department (BA)
2003-2006 Tartu Art College, photography department (BA), (ungraduated)