Jo Ratcliffe: Dream Weaver

The Artist Gets Inside Kate Moss’s Head for Inez and Vinoodh’s New Film

For their surveillance-styled film Evergladephotographers Inez and Vinoodh were intent on portraying the inner workings of Kate Moss’s psyche. The pair turned to British illustrator Jo Ratcliffe to accomplish the task. Ratcliffe's career arc has taken her from drawing “Sindy” for Marvel Comics to creating images for publications such as Visionaire and Vogue, as well as fashion brands including Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jacobs. NOWNESS talked to Ratcliffe to about animating a fashion icon’s thoughts.

How does one inhabit Kate Moss's mind?

I guess there was no specific brief. Obviously she was working and being shot, and the more I looked at the film, the more I thought she looked like she was not settling, so I put something unsettling in there.  

Where does the world you created for Everglade come from?

There are things engrained in my head: Disney; artists like Arthur Rackham; a British cartoon called Willo the Wisp; Sleepy Hollow—Tim Burton stuff.

You've worked with Inez and Vinoodh in the past, notably on a project for Visionaire entitled Fairy Tale, in which you doctored the photographers' portraits of celebrities, in one case drawing a rat between Sofia Coppola's teeth.

I’m not sure [the Coppola picture] was meant to be published, but that was my favorite one.

How did both collaborations come to be?

Inez first contacted me a year ago, and we did Visionaire before the animation came about. I’ve been a fan of Inez and Vinoodh’s from the beginning. I just thought that what they produced was sexy and unique and glamorous and natural at the same time. So when they contacted me it just seemed like a really genuine partnership from the start. I was trying to get across in my work some of the things they get across in their work, and I didn’t think I’d done it yet—but there must have been something that Inez had seen.

So is this the beginning of the next chapter for you—the moving image?

Oh yeah, absolutely. It’s a real joy. I’m working on some characters at the moment and I’m talking about making them into a kind of animated series. But I think that would be more pop than what is going on here. This is dark and expressive. I’ve worked in still images and design where there is plenty of room for expression, but not half as much as when you start moving these things around—giving them sound and voices and some kind of personality. I wish I could spend the rest of the year doing it.



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