Orphan Train - Trained Tales

Orphan Train - Trained Tales
Orphan Train - Trained Tales
Orphan Train - Trained Tales
Orphan Train - Trained Tales

Design, illustration, animation, photography, assemblage, research, storytelling, community

Producer: Julie Lapalme
Co-Producer: The Banff Centre For the Arts, Banff, Alberta

The Orphan Train - Trained Tales website is structured on a train journey with six Stop-Overs made up of assemblages the three-dimensional sculptures which provided the basis for the digital animations and narratives.

The Orphan Train travels on a Figure 8 Traintrack, with intersecting double loops making reference to the orphan/adoptee’s dual history.

The train makes six Stop-Overs on the Tour:

The project delves into the history of the closed adoption system, the growing adoption law reform movement in North America and the history of the Orphan Trains and its ties to adoption today in Canada.

Illustrations and animations

In keeping with the project's theme , I used "orphaned" materials; that is, found objects for the most part: discarded toys, old furniture, scraps of fabric, paper, etc. I photographed my artwork in the round and often simply placed objects on the flatbed scanner and rotated them in space.

Though I was using Flash, I chose a low tech approach, producing very simple animations that called up the not too distant past.

Instead of focusing on complex visual effects, I wanted rather to concentrate on the atmosphere, to capture a fleeting glimpse of possible scenarios. Nostalgia for a world that never was...