Events and Exhibitions

Karst/PCA Young Arts Club Exhibition

Last week KARST and Plymouth College of Art collaborated to run a Summer Young Arts Club across both venues. I am an alumni of the Young Arts Clubs and the Saturday Arts Club at PCA and I live really close to KARST so I was very interested to go to their exhibition on Friday.

The Club was formed of a group of 9-16 year olds and they experimented with different materials all week to make several very different pieces.

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There was a long roll of paper running along the floor and up to the ceiling covered with doodles and drawings which had been collaborated on by the whole group.  There were mini conversations and jokes along the page which felt like a journey through their thoughts.  There were jokes about teachers and a friendly argument about Fortnite.

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The participants had made block prints which they had used in repeats to make patterns.

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One of my favourites was this print of pineapples and cacti.

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I also liked this one which had been overprinted with itself to create a cool punky effect.

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Another set of projects had been to make cardboard sculptures.  In one corner of the room was this large geometric sculpture.

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This giant cardboard sculpture looked like a fort and actually there were a couple of small children sitting in the hidey holes at the bottom

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The group had also worked on smaller sculptures of buildings and trees.

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Around the room were also lots of still life drawings and portraits.  Some of them were quite abstract and others were very clear and had a close eye on detail.  I liked the difference between the shadowy figure compared to the bright background in this drawing, it made the image really pop.

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The artist’s work on these portraits embraced experimenting with different drawing techniques like stippling and continuous line.

I thought this exhibition was really good to see as it is unusual for younger artists to get the opportunity to show work in galleries outside of school projects.  We have also had a really great response to YEA Plymouth’s callout for young artists’ independent work which really shows how interested young people are in participating in arts projects and showing their work off.  I hope that these sorts of opportunities keep taking place around the city and that I can take part in creating more of them.

 

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Events and Exhibitions

PCA Graduate Show 2018 – Illustration & Game Arts

This afternoon I went to visit the PCA Graduate Show 2018.  I only had a chance to visit the Game Arts and Illustration exhibitions, but I plan to go again tomorrow (the last day!).  I’ll try to post about the full exhibition later, but for now, below are some of my favourite pieces that I’ve seen so far.

Game Arts

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On the Brink – The Reawakening by Holly Andreu

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Rush Hour Apocalypse by Emmett Ford

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Underwater Aliens by Nathan Coutanche

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Ziva’s Journey by Stina Teesaar

Illustration

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Adam Endacott

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Lisa Vella

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Danielle Cormack

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Freya Lovell

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George Goodwin

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Olivia Wright

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Harley Jones

The last day for the show is tomorrow, Thursday 21st June, and the campus is open from 10am – 6pm.  Get down to the Tavistock Place PCA campus quickly if you want to check it out!

 

 

Events and Exhibitions

Ancient Scent: Ireland

Today I went to St. Saviours’ Hall on the Barbican for an exhibition by Ancient Scent, a group of artists who take residencies in different places.  Their project Ancient Scent: Ireland was a residency “inspired by the spirit of Ithell Colquhoun’s own journey to Ireland, recorded in her psychogeographical memoir”.  During this project, Ancient Scent spent a week in Ascendancy House in Ballycumber, and visiting sites such as Durrow Abbey, Clonmacnoise, and Leap Castle.  The work in the exhibition was made after their return in April 2017, and created during group art workshops.

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The OTT cult’s (founded by Lally MacBeth) fashionable knitwear

 

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Ceramic bowl and knife and fork set
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Donation box, a book of stories, and zines made for the exhibition
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Big ceramic bowl

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A few my favourites from the collection of ceramic pieces made by Ancient Scent!
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Collaborative ceramic pieces
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Andrew Sneyd/Lyn Andrewes – Interaction Between 3 Elements – Oil painting
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Lyn Andrewes – The Wells of Leamonaghan Parish, The Dark Well – Mosaic
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Collaborative pottery – inspired by the “banquets” Ancient Scent had during their residency!
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Postcards of Phebe Placement’s artwork
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“Sad Spaniel Bird” – Weird and creepy!
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An OTT wall decoration
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Altar Slab – I love how mysterious and witchy it looks!
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Drawings made by rubbing charcoal on paper and then making “her ancestors” from the shapes
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A huge collage painting
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Two cute characters made using Rorschach print methods
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A small sculpture trapped in glass
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“Everything gets Embroidered”
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Two of three creepy clown-like sculptures – Where did the last one go..?
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 Loads of small ceramic pots made for holding different sorts of things
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Phoebe Placement – Drawing (or a print?) on silk
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Close up of Penny MacBeth’s Eiru Beneath the Sea of Green on a lightbox
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Penny MacBeth – Head of Lugh II – Seems almost angelic!
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A print of one of Phoebe Placement’s pieces

The artistic styles and the mediums which Ancient Scent use are really diverse, from photography, to pottery and ceramics, all the way to creating an imaginary cult.  The individual artists within the collective inspire each other’s work, so the exhibition isn’t just a lot of different objects on the same theme, but feels more like a full fusion of all of the artists’ skills and ideas.  Walking around and looking at the pieces was like wandering through a folktale, serene and magical at times then creepy and menacing at others.  I’ve never been to an exhibition quite like this before, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more of Ancient Scent’s work.

Events and Exhibitions

I.Am.Not.A.Robot

Today I stopped by Radiant Gallery for the I.Am.Not.A.Robot exhibition.

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There are lots of small metal creatures in birdcages hanging from a fabric forest.

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Most of the creatures are asleep but some are awake and waiting to be talked to.

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Every creature has unique features, some have beaks, some have antlers, others have big cat ears or spiky ears.

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There is a comfy sofa and some books so you can sit and read aloud to the creatures to make them happy.  Sometimes, the creatures will sing..

This exhibition was adorable but also sad because of the context.  It has been created and curated by a small group of young people who are in foster care, working with curators and artists from Effervescent.  The exhibition is intended to make us think about issues around foster caring and how children in foster care are maybe seen by other people and by themselves.  It will probably give you a lump in your throat and it is one of the most moving exhibitions I have visited.

The singing happens once an hour, around the beginning of the hour.  Get there a bit earlier than that to look around in quiet and read the exhibition materials.  Sit on the sofa and read a book aloud to yourself and the creatures (I recommend The Melancholy Death Of Oyster Boy which I discovered there).  Most importantly, wait to hear the creatures sing!

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The exhibition will be on until the 25th November.  I will be going back again and taking friends with me because I think this is an exhibition a lot of them will enjoy and it is a really thought-provoking and sweet experience.

 

 

Events and Exhibitions

Graphic Communication with Typography at the Plymouth University Graduate Show 2017

After I visited the Illustration degree show, I went to look at the other creative graduate work around the Plymouth University campus.  This post shows my favourite pieces from the BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Typography show.

Sophie Niman (Instagram)

Sophie had on display her zine SOS #1.  What I like about this zine is how noisy the graphics are, with a mix of busy shapes and active and bright colours.  The black and white checkered pattern is really simple but eye-catching, and looks really great with the black text on yellow “Welcome to #1” labels.

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SOS Magazine  – Zine by Sophie Niman
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Pages from SOS Magazine by Sophie Niman
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Page from SOS Magazine by Sophie Niman

Kaisa Koisti (Instagram)

Kaisa’s project included animation with spinning, flashing and other moving parts, and packets of stickers, to raise awareness of the lack of equal opportunities to female DJs.  I think the use of equipment dials and read-outs to demonstrate the issues is clever and I like how the poster colours make them look like gig posters.

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Equalise the Mix – Campaign poster by Kaisa Koisti
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Equalise the Mix – Campaign design by Kaisa Koisti

Eve Whitehead (Instagram)

Eve’s project promoting veganism has a soft and friendly approach with a powder colour scheme and white text.  It is almost the opposite of the approach taken by Kaisa above.

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The Environmental Impact of Veganism – Posters by Eve Whitehead
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The Environmental Impact of Veganism – Packaging and promotional design by Eve Whitehead

James Dodds (Instagram)

I really like the mixture of different text types used in James’s Analog Magazine, which includes handwritten words of different thicknesses and slopes, typed text, and text which has been printed or stamped.  The magazine looks really interesting and I think it would appeal to graphic designers as well as people who are interested in vintage creative equipment like old cameras and typewriters.

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Analog Magazine – Zine by James Dodds
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Page from Analog Magazine by James Dodds
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Design for Analog Magazine by James Dodds
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Designs for Analog Magazine by James Dodds

Timothy Pascoe (Instagram)

Timothy has created a set of playful images that are great visual representations of the different film genres.  The text is clear but unobtrusive and lets the images take centre stage.

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Great British Classics – Poster design by Timothy Pascoe
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Great British Classics – Cinema ticket design by Timothy Pascoe

Lucy Allen (Instagram)

Lucy has created a zine which draws attention to the design of really useful everyday items that we might overlook as great examples of design, but they are!  I like the way she has limited her colours in each picture to give a 3-d effect to her simple lines.

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Overlooked – Poster design by Lucy Allen
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Overlooked – Zine by Lucy Allen
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Page from Overlooked zine by Lucy Allen

Gemma Beard

Gemma has designed a set of alternative street designs that look at the sort of problems that might happen if we were to start modifying human DNA.  The signs have a dry humour to them and very clear messages that provoke thought.

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Modify? – Design by Gemma Beard
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Modify? – Design by Gemma Beard
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Modify? – Exhibition design by Gemma Beard
Events and Exhibitions

Illustration at PCA Summer Show #BreakingThrough17

Last week I went to have an in depth look around the BA (Hons) Illustration rooms at the PCA Summer Show.  I have written previously about the BA (Hons) Game Arts exhibition and the BA (Hons) Animation exhibition (click the links for my posts).

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Sophie Clark – Sensory Monsters

Though Sophie Clark‘s main work is centred around illustration (and some pattern designs) the project that she has been working on and has displayed at the Show includes these cute, fluffy, hand made monster toys.  The monsters come from the children’s book she has been working on, There are Monsters in My Head.  The ears of the cuddly monsters crinkle and the large one has a squeaker and a rattle.  My little sister (who is nearly three) really loved these toys and was fascinated with them.

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Jake Cutler – King Arthur Narrative Concept Art

Jake Cutler‘s concept art on the story of King Arthur makes me feel like the environments he has illustrated are cold and mysterious.  My favourite image is the illustration on the top left.  I love the way the distant cliffs and mountains are covered in mist but you can still see there is a ravine down the middle..  What could be in there?

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Nathaniel J. Hall – Sunshine

I talked to Nathaniel J. Hall while at the college about his artwork and about his experience on the course.  He mentioned that an animation he created (also on display) was inspired by his “thoughts and feelings about coming to Plymouth” and pointed out that the animation starts off with negative words and illustrations but gradually becomes happier and more positive.  He also told me that before enrolling in the Illustration course, Nathaniel visited and looked around a previous Summer Show at PCA and was inspired by what he saw.  His artwork is normally monochromatic, and Sunshine is one of three screenprints on display inspired by his favourite films.  I love how this one is dramatic, like an explosion.

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Anita Yip – The Guardian’s Contract

 

Anita Yip‘s work is inspired by anime and manga, and she incorporates lots of geometric shapes into the backgrounds and characters that she illustrates.  A lot of her characters also have animal traits or features, for example this character is wolf-like.  Anita also has on display prints covered in tiny hieroglyphic symbols, and her zine Meep! which tells a funny and endearing glimpse of her life.

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Joe Mouzourus – Reel Women

Joe Mouzourus was also available to speak to when I visited.  Joe said he has “always wanted to be an artist since secondary school and that with illustration, “you can go in any direction”.  Joe has displayed a collection of posters of films with strong female leads, including this one of Rey from Star Wars VII.  I really like the dry brush style background and in the foreground it looks like he’s used pencils to create a detailed, shaded sketch which really stands out.

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Nicola Owen – My Visit to Grandma

Nicola Owen‘s work has cute and simple lineart, colouring and shading.  This display contains pages from her comic My Visit To Grandma.  The artwork is adorable but the story is really sad and thought provoking.  Nicola also has some minizines/comics on display and her overlapping cat pattern is clever and humorous.

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Cosmo Lloyd – Uprooting/Dragon Slaying Character Designs

Cosmo Lloyd‘s work is inspired by medieval and fantasy themes, and her work centres a lot around character design and comic art.  She is the author of a webcomic called Uprooting, which is about “self worth and family issues with a sprinkle of medieval” and a printed preview of Uprooting is on display at the Show.  She uses lots of colours in her work, and creates very detailed and well developed character concepts.

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Briony Difford – Asian Folktales

Briony Difford specialises in illustrating book covers, and her work is inspired by Asian folktales.  Her illustrations are beautiful and detailed, yet she keeps her colouring simple by using separate individual shades, and leaving out any highlights or shadows.

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Stephanie Parnell – Legs Occult: Dark Rituals

Stephanie Parnell made this artwork for a small vinyl record sleeve (also on display was a poster version of the same piece).  I find Legs Occult: Dark Rituals creepy and dark but also beautiful.

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Amber-Louise Crawford – Untitled

Amber-Louise Crawford’s creature illustrations are full of life.  She combines simple, sketchy lineart with heavily shaded and blended colouring.  This creature in the photo above looks like a forest spirit.

There are so many artists I haven’t covered in this post who had work on display, but today is the final day of the exhibition and I wanted to show how brilliant the work on display is so that if you’re interested in the Summer Show, you can take this last chance to check it out for yourself!  I will most likely write a second post about the Illustration show later covering some of the things I missed here, so come back later to look for that.

 

Events and Exhibitions

Animation at PCA Summer Show #BreakingThrough17

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PCA BA (Hons) Animation – Poster

This is my second post from the PCA Summer Show #BreakingThrough17 and is about the work on the display in the Animation room.  My previous post was about the work in the Game Arts room.

**I am sorry about my bad quality photos but it is hard to take pictures in the Animation room as there is not much light so that visitors can watch the films!  And I only have my phone camera so..**

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Still from Migaloo by Sophie Oliver

 

BA (Hons) Animation

When I visited the Animation room I was lucky to speak with graduating students Tim Howe and Bram Whitford.  They explained to me that the first year of the degree course was quite experimental, in the second year they started to specialise and took part in a big project with the other Animation students, and in the third year they specialised further and worked on their final projects.  Tim said that students can “start from zero on this course and develop their skills” and Bram explained that students are “encouraged to experiment on this course and explore their strengths”.

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Still from Jerome by Time Howe

They both said that students are able to practice at different roles to see what suits them, for example directing or creating assets, and they are encouraged to collaborate with students from other departments in the college (some collaborated with Plymouth University students too).  Bram said that the course covered a lot of different styles of animation as well as business and practical skills.  Now that they have finished their degrees, Bram plans to focus on running his own illustration company, and Tim is hoping to do more CGI animation work.

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Model from Catawampus by Jessica Mehler
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Models from Catawampus by Jessica Mehler
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Poster featuring stills from Catawampus by Jessica Mehler

Jessica Mehler is a 2D and Stop-motion animator.  For her animation Catawampus she has created beautiful models, she has even hand sewn the clothes worn by her characters.  Jessica’s attention to detail is incredible and she has put a lot of her models on display at the exhibition.  There is a whole miniature house to look inside, with tiny food and crockery and furniture, and faces featuring different expressions for her main character.  Jessica collaborated with filmmaker Julia Claxton on the design and building of the set for Catawampus.  The story is about a young girl who gets lost in the woods and finds a mysterious cabin.  The animation is of extremely high quality and was one of my favourite pieces in the Animation degree show. Watch a trailer for Catawampus here.

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Still from Goldi And Red by Larisa Cleaver

Larisa Cleaver has put a twist on the stories of Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks in her animation Goldi And Red.  The style is really cute, using paper cutouts and split pin joints.  The movement of the characters and scenery are really exaggerated like puppets and this makes the animation seem playful.  The story is fun and I think that younger girls especially would enjoy it.  Watch a trailer for Goldi And Red here.

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Still from Ava by Libby Durose
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Badges and illustrations by Libby Durose

Libby (LJ) Durose is an illustrator and animator and her work on display includes badges and her animation Ava.  In Ava a young girl is chased by bullies and thrown into a well, then is befriended by a mysterious girl, who might be a ghost?  Ava was another of my favourite pieces in the Animation degree show and I would like to see a longer project or even series of shorts based on these characters.  The style is sketchy pen in black and white, it looks influenced by anime and the shadow work is really good.  Watch a trailer for Ava here.

Libby’s badge designs are closeups of pen sketched faces and I plan to get one on my next visit to the exhibition.  She also does ink portrait commissions and her artwork is in a detailed comic style, contact her by email.

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Still from Jerome by Tim Howe
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Models from Jerome by Tim Howe

Tim Howe originally specialised in stop-motion but is now working in CGI.  His animation Jerome is a stop-motion animation about a man and his dog.  Sort of.  It has a really unexpected ending which young children might find a bit disturbing, so beware!  The story is strange but darkly humourous.  Tim’s models are made from oven hardened clay and wire and have a lot of personality.  He has also used action figures in parts of the film.  Watch Jerome here.

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Still from Migaloo by Sophie Oliver
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Still from Migaloo by Sophie Oliver

Sophie Oliver is a 2D Animator and her animation Migaloo has painted backgrounds and uses flowing fabric to create a wavy effect.  The story is based at sea, a young diver is carried away by the current and helped by a giant whale.  The style reminded me of Eric Carle’s story books and the animation was gently flowing.  I really enjoyed how the music began smooth and calm and picked up pace and became more frantic when she was swept away.  Watch Migaloo here.

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Still from animation by Bram Whitford
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Still from animation by Bram Whitford

Bram Whitford is an illustrator and animator.  His animation is about a young person who finds an old top hat in an attic which attaches itself to their head.  It seems like an origin story for a crime-fighting hero or villain.  It was a funny short animation and I like the simple but cute artwork.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find a link to it to share here!

There is more to see in the Animation room and even just seeing the models used in Catawampus and Jerome are really worth the visit.  Allow at least half an hour to watch all the animation pieces which are being shown on a loop projected on a large screen.  The PCA Summer Show  is on until the 22nd June and the Animation room is on the first floor, next door to Game Arts.  The Tavistock Place campus is also having an Open Day this Saturday 17th June so if you are interested in their Foundation, Undergraduate or Postgraduate courses you should go.