Private Project

A Jarful of Bees

Jarful of Bees is a multimedia, immersive short film by critically acclaimed painter Natalie Frank and internationally renowned artist/animator Erin Pollock, set to a new piece of music by award-winning composer Paola Prestini, text by Pulitzer-winning librettist Royce Vavrek, and sung by Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Eve Gigliotti.

Jarful of Bees is a collaboration between these five artists that explores the transformation of memory and the mutability of the familial relationship between a daughter and her father. The film weaves together Frank's painting and Pollock's claymation into a dreamlike visual landscape that elucidates the boundary-pushing vocal and electronic score by Prestini and the ethereal voice of Gigliotti, who, alongside Prestini, developed the concept for the work. Jarful of Bees was commissioned by Jill Steinberg and WNET’s ALL ARTS.

  • Erin Pollock
  • Natalie Frank
  • Paola Prestini
  • Eve Gigliotti
  • Royce Vavrek
  • Paola Prestini
  • Eve Gigliotti
  • Natalie Frank
  • Erin Pollock
  • Erin Pollock
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Music Video, Short
  • Genres:
    Opera, Music video, animation, claymation, moving painting
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 6, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    9,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    digital still animation
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Erin Pollock, Natalie Frank

ERIN POLLOCK (b. 1982, Alaska)
is an American painter, sculptor, photographer and stop-motion animator based in Brooklyn. Her short films celebrate vulnerability, imperfection, and the human capacity for transformation. Clay figures battle their fickle egos and struggle to connect. They suffer physical and emotional imperfections and, like humans, they’re in a constant state of transformation. Wielding violence and tenderness, Pollock’s figures sculpt one another with each collision of their fragile bodies - blurring the line between destruction and creation. She explores both the cruel and the absurd, while allowing empathy to creep in for tender moments of connection.

In the past year Pollock’s films have been official selections in 18 international film festivals. Her film Lucky Mud won awards in 9 of them, including: The Svankmajer Award for Best Animation at The Austin Arthouse Film Festival, Best Experimental Short in the Vancouver Independent Film Festival, Best Animated Short in The Esoteric International Film Festival and Best Animation in the NY Cinematography Awards. Her films were finalists for: Best Animation and Best Experimental Short in The Madrid Film Awards, Best Experimental Short in The Golden Short Film Festival, Best Experimental and Best Animation Short in the IndieX Film Fest, Best Animation Short in the LA Femme Film Festival, and received an honorable mention from the New York Movie Awards. Other festivals included: Buenos Aires International Film Festival, Berlin Revolution Film Festival, Brooklyn Silent Film Festival, Los Angeles International Film Festival, New Filmmakers New York, Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, Unrestricted View Film Festival, and The Harlem International Film Festival.

She has staged public art projects, including commissions for The Seattle Art Museum, Microsoft, Ford Motor Company, City of Anchorage, and City of Seattle. She has exhibited in Anchorage, AK; Beijing, China; Brooklyn, NY; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cannes, France; Florence, Italy; London, UK; Los Angeles, CA; Lima, Peru; Madrid, Spain; Mexico City, Mexico; New York, NY; Seattle, Washington; and Seoul, South Korea. She has been an artist in residence at The MacDowell Colony, NH; The Jentel Foundation, WY; CAFA Beijing, China. Her work has been supported by The Will Cotton Foundation, NY; The Rasmuson Foundation, AK; Alaska State Council on the Arts, AK; and 4Culture, WA.


NATALIE FRANK (b. 1980, Texas)
is an interdisciplinary artist whose gouache and chalk pastel drawings, paper paintings, work in artistic design in performance, and ceramics, focus on the intersection of sexuality and violence in feminist portraiture. Frank’s portraits of women draw on overlooked stories and storytellers in literature that spans erotica to fairy tales. She engages with contemporary discourse around themes of SnM, female authorship, fantasy, and shifting societal power structures. Frank has produced a number of books, including O (Lucia Marquand, 2018), which visualizes tales from the sex positive feminist and revolutionary 1954 French erotic novel, Story of O; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Princeton University Press, 2017); Tales of the Brothers Grimm (Damiani, 2015) and The Island of Happiness: Tales of Madame d’Aulnoy (Princeton University Press, 2021). Her drawing survey show, Unbound, co-organized by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (WI), and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, (OH) will open 2021-2.

Recent museum exhibitions include: Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond, Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY; In the Collection, Yale Women Alumni, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; Dread and Delight: Fairy Tales in an Anxious World, curated by Emily Stamey, The Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC, travelling to the Grinnell College Museum of Art, Grinnell, IA and the Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH. Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm at the Drawing Center, New York (NY) in 2015, which traveled to the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (TX) and University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington (2016).

Frank's work is represented in numerous collections, including Ackland Art Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago; The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin; The Berger Collection, Hong Kong; Beth Rudin de Woody Collection; The Bowdoin Museum of Art, ME; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; The Hall Art Foundation; The Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; The Kentucky Art Museum; Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA; Montclair Art Museum, NJ; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; The Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA; The Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; The Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA.

Natalie Frank's work has been covered in national and international publications and media outlets such as Art and Auction; Art in America; Art Review;; Artnet News; BOMB; Flash Art; The Huffington Post; The Los Angeles Times; Modern Painters; New York Magazine; The New York Observer; The New York Times; The New Yorker; and The Wall Street Journal. She has been a visiting artist at Brooklyn College; Cranbrook Academy; Hunter College; Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art; The New York Academy of Art; The New York Studio School; New York University; Pratt; The School of Visual Arts; and Yale University.

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