Awardee: Martha Colburn

Moving Image, 2015

Martha Colburn grew up in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania. There, she began her art career, exhibiting her work at county fairs. During her high school education, she was invited to attend courses at the Gettysburg College. From there she attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and Design in Baltimore. After graduating with a BA in Painting, she released six records developed from various collaborations and created numerous Super 8mm and 16mm films. Colburn attended an art residency at Royal Academy of Visual Art in the Netherlands from 2000-2002, and began exhibiting multimedia art installations. Colburn has also participated in residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. Her films are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and her film Triumph of the Wild is permanently on show at the Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany.

Project: Western Wilds

Western Wilds is a stop-motion film combining doll animation, painted animation and live action. The film is based on popular stories about the American West, written by German author Karl May during the 1890s. The film will trace May's early childhood experiences of poverty, his eventual crimes and his later work as an author. Western Wilds will reference his stories, moving picture adaptations and illustrations associated with May's works. At the time of publication, his books were criticized for their unrealistic and fantastical views of Native Americans and the American West. Western Wilds explores how a man who had not once visited America shaped the international perception of the American West, contributing to visual and cultural stereotypes.