Winnipeg filmmaker sees art where other people see ick

Winnipeg filmmaker sees art where other people see ick

Joel Penner is 28 and he is a filmmaker from Winnipeg.

His work is different from what others filmmakers are doing – he sees art where other people see ick. He sees beauty in decomposing roadkill, mouldering fruit and rotting vegetables.

Penner captures the circle of life since 2012. Once he was in the backyard at his parents' house and he thought that he would be interested to see how flowers would decay.

The filmmaker has more than 20 scanners, set on timers to capture the decomposition in stages. He uses special boxes and devices to make the most beautiful shots and then collects the images together for his films.

National Geographic has featured footage of his work in their docuseries One Strange Rock, which is now streaming on Netflix.

The project Penner is working on now is called Wrought. It lasts for 15 minutes and shows all stages of decomposition of animals. He works together with Anna Sigrithur.

The filmmaker also captures rotting raspberries, papaya and other fruit.

Not so long ago, Joel Penner received a $25,000 Canada Council research grant after he created a film about bees at the University of Manitoba.

Penner explains that his goal is to make people think about the beauty of nature and the maximum preservation of it. People need to start caring for nature more.

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Joel Penner National Geographic filmmaker from Winnipeg
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