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Wendy's work


WENDY TILBY'S `When the Day Breaks' (1999) employs a technique of using pencil and paint on photocopies. "We had tried pen and ink, and collage, but the story demanded a technique that was more controlled than the paint-on-glass method," says Wendy. The technique used by her has imbued the images with a textured look reminiscent of a lithograph.

The film is about Ruby, a pig, which collides head-on with Mr. C, a chicken, on the way to the grocery store. After picking up things, Mr. C. crosses the road and is hit by a car.

Says Wendy: "Ruby is traumatised by the turn of events. She returns home but her thoughts return to the chicken, the lemon and the can of soup that lay on the road. "

Wendy drew upon her experiences of living in Montreal for this short film. "I used to live in a busy street. Each time, I'd hear the brakes of a car, the tyres screeching to a halt followed by a crash, I'd think, `Oh My God, someone has been hit!' I'd think about their family. I wanted Ruby to realise that Mr. C was not exactly a stranger, for they had met each other, albeit briefly, while they collided on the road."

The film gradually metamorphoses into a "meditation", as a grief-stricken Ruby tries to shut the world out.

Ruby's first impulse is to run away from the city, which at the beginning of the film was a friendly place to live in, and later, threatens to draw Ruby into a mire of vicissitudes and danger. Ruby feels lonely and vulnerable, but manages to come to terms with the trauma in the end and looks beyond grief by reaching out to others. "I wanted Ruby to realise that the city, with its populace, is a living entity."

Wendy has struck a chord with audiences through her portrayal of Ruby, the pig.

Her other work, `Strings', which won her rave reviews, is a short film with an innate fluid appearance, due to its `paint-on-glass' method of creation. Through this film, Wendy draws parallels between the occupants of two neighbouring apartments. One a woman and the other, a group of musicians. "To focus on the invisible bond between two, I shifted the narrative - from the strings of the instruments the men play to the strings on toy ships in a bathtub, while the woman is preparing for a bath," explains Wendy.

S.S.

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