Barnsley Museums, 2014
I had the pleasure to work with Barnsley Museums on an animated short made by young women from the youth panel at Experience Barnsley Museum to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike. Funded by the Arts Council Museums and Schools programme. The film was based on the research the panel gathered on the women against pit closures movement and was created from their own drawings, objects featured in the Women Against Pit Closures exhibition and Lego characters.
It was set against a recording of re-written verses of the song ‘We Are Women, We Are Strong’ which the Women Against Pit Closures used as their anthem on the picket lines. The panel recorded their version, called ‘Women of the Working Class’ with some of the original WAPC women.
The film received several international awards and it was great to see this anthem to community and courage, and the power of collective voice celebrated. The film is a testament to cross generational work and the power of giving voice to communities. To be celebrated as hero's in Hollywood is something that this community will never forget.
Cllr Roy Miller, cabinet spokesperson for Place, said:
“What a fantastic result. We always knew that this little film was a big star but it’s great that this has been recognised both nationally and internationally. The young women who worked so hard on it should be very proud of themselves and my thanks go to David for all his support.”
The results are as follows:
International Family Film Festival, Hollywood - Youthfest category - winner
Kids for Kids UK 2014, British Film Industry, London - winner
My Hero International Film Festival high school category – third place
Bradford Animation Festival 2014 - nomination
Cannon Hall, a stunning Georgian country house museum, houses a grand collection of artworks including paintings, English furniture, Arts and Crafts ceramics and modern glassware. Hunting around the collections, I found inspiration in an unassuming glass bowl, which I discovered featured a running lioness and cub. Could it be this was an example of sequential animation, actually in the museums collection? This was news to the curators, who arranged for a photographer to come and photograph each engraving. I then took those images into an edit to covert them into a movie. And gosh, it is breathtaking as you can see below.
Now, not only is this utterly AMAZING, but it reminded me of one of the earliest examples of animation, depicted on a 5200 year old Iranian clay pot. And of course it reminded me of the Zoetrope; an animated vintage toy that was originally developed in 1830s. So being utterly spoilt, we were able to create a really exciting Zoetrope workshop with a historical and scientific underpinning.
In the iPad age, traditional hand made workshops are sometimes forgotten. Piloting this workshop, using cardboard, paper plates and a pencil, made me remember that good old hands on invention and kinesthetic learning are hard to beat. But don't listen me - ask the children. My quote of the week came from a child who simply wrote...
Better than the xbox!