Originally from the Missouri Ozarks, Caryn Cline is a filmmaker and teacher who has been making films and videos for 20 years. She works with found footage, she shoots 16mm film on a hand-cranked Bolex camera, and she also creates handmade direct animation “botanicollage” films. “Botanicollage” is a term she coined to describe the technique of creating direct animation films using botanical elements. Stan Brakhage pioneered these techniques in films such as Mothlight and Garden of Earthly Delights.
For Caryn, the kinesethic and haptic qualities of the materials and the process are important aspects of her filmmaking. She often picks site-specific plant materials— from the Conservatory in Volunteer Park in her Seattle neighborhood (In the Conservatory); from Riverside Park in Manhattan (Left Side, Riverside); from the Film Farm in Mount Forest, Ontario (Notes from the Farm); from a prairie restoration site in Missouri (All Grass is Flesh)—to work with. She’s particularly drawn to “weeds” and everyday plants that possess astonishingly beautiful qualities when viewed up close, plants such as shepherd’s purse or milkweed.
In addition to her direct animation work, Caryn also employs found footage, usually with various interventions—scratching, bleaching, and double-exposing or bi-packing with other materials. Her recent experimental documentary films, shot in and around Seattle, involved collaborations with other filmmakers. Besides making films, she teaches handmade “botanicollage” film workshops and is the co-founder and -curator of the Engauge Experimental Film Festival in Seattle, Washington.
Photo: Jennifer Griffith
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