The Blowing Bowler
The Blowing Bowler
"The Blowing Bowler" by Chris Sickels (Red Nose Studio)
About the project
"The Blowing Bowler" is a stop-motion animation depicting a brief history of New York City’s subway car designs as a man pursues his wind-tossed bowler hat in a subway station. As the man follows his hat down a tunnel, a progression of subway cars rolls by, representing designs from the Beach Pneumatic Transit Company (1870s), Interborough Rapid Transit Company (1910s), a second-generation R-10 car (1940s), a R-15 car (1950s), a car from the 1970s State of the Art Car Program (SOAC), and a more recent R-188 subway car (2013).
Chris Sickels/Red Nose Studio was inspired by the New York subway system and the continuous movement of MTA riders. He created a dioramic model from wood, clay, fabric, wire, cardboard, and found objects, then painstakingly filmed each motion as a frame for the animation. In addition to the main minute-long animation, three shorter loops feature comical cat-and-mouse antics in reference to the round-the-clock operations of the New York City Transit system and a ridership that is always on the move.
“We are all chasing something, maybe the chase is more important than the catch. I encourage folks to enjoy the journey,” Sickels said.
The work was presented by MTA Arts & Design with technical support from the MTA Multimedia team, Westfield Properties, and ANC Sports.
About the artist
Chris Sickels of Red Nose Studio creates 3D illustration and stop-motion animations that make images come to life with textures, light, and elbow grease. His illustrations and animations have been recognized by American Illustration, Communication Arts, and HOW. The Society of Illustrators has awarded three golds and a silver medal for both illustrative and motion work. The stop-motion animated films have screened at various festivals including Los Angeles International Short Film Festival and Montreal Stop-Motion Film Festival. He has authored and illustrated "The Look Book," and has illustrated the children's books "Here Comes The Garbage Barge," "The Beginner’s Guide to Running Away From Home," and "The Secret Subway."