This animation is inspired by “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a short story written in 1892 by Charlotte Perkins Gliman. The story follows a nameless woman who is prescribed the rest-cure: a treatment which deprives her of all intellectual and social stimulation. With only the wallpaper to study she gradually looses her mind over the course of the narrative. The animation takes on the first-person perspective of this woman’s story and visually characterizes the wallpaper based on her hallucinations. The wallpaper acts as a form of a pseudo-document, archiving the suffering of past women while also documenting the narrator’s own experience.
Meghan Romance uses her research to form connections between the narrative, art history, and her own past work. As well as to gain a deeper understanding of the story’s historical context and its many interpretations that have arisen over the past century. One such interpretation, which Romance explores, is that the yellow-world of the wallpaper is not one of despair, but one of freedom from a current reality which binds and infantilizes. To portray these ideas she uses a blend of animation styles to mirror this emotional journey and inevitable descent into insanity.
After reading “The Yellow Wallpaper” seven years ago, Romance found interest in the story’s importance as an early feminist writing and its unique perspective of the narrator’s descent into insanity. Themes of corruption/decay are present throughout Romance’s past work as well as motifs of hauntings. The goal in her work is not to communicate a personal story, but to connect the work with the experiences of the audience who question their own understanding of reality.
Process and Visual Research