Shifting Sands | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Shifting Sands

 In “A Tangled Tale,” Corrie Francis Parks takes sand art to a new level.

In “A Tangled Tale,” Corrie Francis Parks takes sand art to a new level.

When I was little, my mom would buy me sand-art kits. They were the simple kind—just colored sand and whimsically shaped bottles. But Corrie Francis Parks' "A Tangled Tale" made me realize sand art's true beauty. In the film, Parks uses the traditional method of sand animation, turning something as plain as sand into an incredible piece of art.

In sand animation, an artist creates a series of images with sand, using their hands to draw lines and figures. The work is done on a piece of backlit or frontlit glass.

Parks created her first sand animation in 2003, titled "Tracks," about animals in the Savannah Desert sharing a drink of water before night falls. The film allowed her to experiment with the medium and figure out what worked and what didn't. "A Tangled Tale" was her way to capitalize on the process and turn it into something amazing. This time, though, she had technology on her side. She uses as many physical mediums as possible to create the colors and textures, but animates the film on her computer.

The opening of "A Tangled Tale" features dark scenes of nature, from something jumping out of water to catch a butterfly to the casting of a fisherman's line. The fish pops out of the water, and once it dives back in, the viewer sees an underwater world of interesting textures and colors. The fish meets another fish caught in the same situation, and they discover that they have a connection. They strive to find a way to break the connection.

"A Tangled Tale" screens at 1:20 p.m. April 5 on Screen C as part of the Shorts 3: Animation for Adults block.

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