A panoply of visual forms and likenesses inspired artist Tom Lock to make “Underwater Empire”. These include nineteenth century scientific drawings of sea creatures by Ernst Haeckle, the repetitive visual rhythms of Islamic geometry and the tessellated patterns of ceramic tiles often seen decorating the streets and houses around Southern Europe.
Starting out by painting each individual frame of the spinning mandala by hand, Lock developed the animation alongside the composition of an original soundtrack by musician Rudi Schmidt. The relationship of sound and image is inseparable as the evolving forms of the mandala playfully interact with the different phases and tones of the musical score. This short film surges with movement and energy emoting the same spirit of discovery of Haeckle’s drawings and the immersive effect of walking through Moorish streets and architecture animated with colourful shapes and patterns.