Thilde Louise Dalager

The Face between Us

University of Bergen, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, Department of Design

"In my projects, I explore expanded animation, pushing beyond traditional screens. I focus on creating immersive illustrations that challenge both me as the creator and the viewers. I aim to merge physical sensory experiences with cinematic intensity, asking whether blending time-based media with tactile elements can enhance storytelling. 

My Ph.D. project, 'The Face Between Us,' delves into human identity representation, especially representation of 'The Other,' through the microhistorical lense of my brother( who has an autistic diagnosis) and me. We all have faces, which unite us, however they also serve as mask, hiding our emotions. Faces can unite, divide, reveal, and deceive. 

By exploring the symbolic aspects of faces and masks, my project delves into human relationships and our understanding of others and ourselves. Can portraits truly capture a person's essence? 

A vital aspect of this research project involves approaching the dynamics between illustration, the illustrated subject, and the illustrator from an ethical standpoint.  

Thilde Louise Dalager is an authorial illustrator and experimental animation filmmaker.  She works primarily with time-based media such as paint-on-glass animation and cut-out animation as well as painting, printmaking and textiles. She graduated with a Master's in Illustration in 2015 from The Royal Danish Academy(2015) Copenhagen, as well as having studied at HAW(Germany, 2013) OCAD (Canada, 2014), and interning at Animatitlán (Mexico, 2012). Currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Bergen, Norway.  



Artistic Research Autumn Forum 2023

In this presentation, I will primarily examine 'The Gaze' as a framework for understanding visual perception as well as different portrait traditions. Specifically, whether looking beyond Western traditions, which typically prioritize likeness, to non-Western traditions utilizing symbolic and generic portrait styles, can broaden our understanding of how we perceive individuals." 


Artistic Research Spring Forum 2023 

We all have a face; this unites us. The face, however, acts as a canvas for our true inner self and a mask - protecting our emotions from others. The face unites, divides, reveals, and deceives.   

This Ph.D. project, The Face Between Us, investigates the portrait and representation of human identity in illustration. By researching the symbolic and conceptual concept of the face and the mask, the project serves as an entry into discussing human relations and understanding the other and the self. The face has a significant role in human interactions, but can portraits ever fully capture reliable and authentic representations of a person's intangible essence?   

The project uses animation as well as textiles, ceramics, and painting. May an extended use of illustration, combining time-based media and tactile elements, expand the experience between imaginary storytelling and sensorial physicality?  

An essential method and core element in this research project is understanding the dynamics of the illustration, the illustrated, and the illustrator from an ethical perspective. The research project aims to contribute artistically and ethically to expand the illustration field within a framework of critical design theory and authorial illustration practice.