Ruth Tait chats about her newest work “Fallback Position”

Theatre Local: Tell us a bit about your piece: What can people expect to see?

Ruth Tait: This is an 8 minute animation film using chalkboard animation process.

This film arose out of my experience of working as a personal support worker for a disabled man — from whom I have learned a great deal — and also out of my love for animation, which is always a work in progress.

TL: Is this the first piece you’ve created specifically for a small audience?

RT: No. I have to think that almost everything I do is for a small audience but that could be a mistake to think so. “From little acorns, etc…”

TL: What inspired you to create this piece?

RT: As I said, this film arose out of my experience of working as a personal support worker for a disabled man. I also think of him as a friend. I’ve ended up going out to places around the city with him and I’m completely amazed at how little support for his needs there is in the general public or city infrastructure, whether you’re talking about arbitrary placement of door openers (maybe half of which can be accessed by my friend) or even people yelling at him for getting in their way (yes… this actually happened!)

So, my idea with the film was to try to take the viewer into the position that I took early on — imagine this accident happened to you and you were paralyzed. How would you cope? War and general mayhem on the roads is putting people into wheel chairs on a daily basis but even the least little bit of public sensitivity, which could make these people’s lives much easier, is abrogated. I’ve spent my life making art and I want it to have some worthwhile influence, however small.
TL: Is this the first time you are participating in Nuit Blanche? If not, What other pieces have you done that happened in the “white night”?

RT: I aired a piece in “Tell YOUR Story” at the Theatre Local event in 2011. It was a film of transition shots from some autobifictionalography comics (to coin Lynda Barry’s term)

TL: Whats up next for you?

RT: I’m working on illustrations for a children’s book called “A Brooklyn dog in France”. I also have a storyboard that I’m dying to turn into another chalkboard animation.

Ruth Tait Photo

Ruth Tait (a.k.a. Rutz) has a trained observer’s eye, used over several years. She locates her practice within both a fine art painterly sphere as well as commercial illustration. She works as a graphic designer and web designer. She also has an alter-ego: Rutz — who ventures into the primordial world of comic books, exploring themes of a somewhat feminist nature. She self-publishes her graphic novels as chap books. Currently, along with her regular employment, she has returned to Ontario College of Art to complete a degree in Design/Illustration. Her studio is located at the new Artscape Wychwood Barns complex.

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