A life-long 20 year project of former owner Khadambi Asalanche that began as a practical exercise to conceal a damp patch, 575 Wandsworth Road is a breathtakingly beautiful example of interior design raised to the level of art piece. Commissioned by the National Trust, British director Lizzie Oxby has crafted a playful, Swan Lake scored, 30 second spot that drew its inspiration from the property’s ornate fretworked interiors, which were themselves informed by Asalanche’s love of dance and pattern formations.
Due to the fragile nature of the house nothing could be safely moved, so Oxby began by photographing the property in sections; recording elements such as the plaster, the floor, the woodwork and even a small area of damp in the basement. She then storyboarded the piece, her classical dance background providing a helpful springboard from which to choreograph the evolution of the fretwork animation as it spread throughout the house. With the structure locked down it was time to move the project into the digital realm for its final phases:
“I then created the intricate fretwork using vector files, designing them in Illustrator and animating them in After Effects. Once completed, I passed it over to John Taylor, an After Effects artist who collaborated closely on the project in helping develop the technique and the look. He used the vectors as mattes for the photographic textures I’d shot back at the house. I’d also filmed details of real tree branches moving in the wind from my studio window, and John projected these onto the walls in the film.
I really enjoyed making the film. It’s been a development from work I’ve made using animated stills, which I first used in my short films Daydreams, which have been popular on Vimeo. And it’s been great to have the opportunity to continue exploring different ways of combining media in my film work with this project for the National Trust.”