From the film-maker:
My animation 'Letting Off Steam' features Philomena, a stressed-out businesswoman with a great love of tea. I was drawn to the way the woman pouring the coffeepot in Lancret's painting looked so elegant and graceful while performing what we now see as an everyday action. I wanted to develop a character with two sides to her. The uptight stressed businesswoman is the front hiding an elegant, graceful woman who is desperate to escape her harsh facade. I tried to keep the idea simple. I think a cup of a tea is something British audiences can all relate to. Disaster strikes, but in England once the kettle is on, everything will be ok! Some people rely on a certain number of cups of tea to get through the day. I wanted to combine this need with the relief of putting the kettle on. I hope my animation gets across the message of taking enjoyment in the simple things in life.
A piece inspired by Nicolas Lancret, A Lady in a Garden taking Coffee with some Children, probably 1742