Yesterday it was all happening at The Curve in Leicester!
You can be sure, if The Spark Arts are putting on a event, then it’s going to be pretty special, and yesterday was just that. From the moment the doors opened at The Curve, the whole space was filled with the sound of little feet, giggles and excitement.
I sat, with a team of awesome Spark volunteers, on the mezzanine with my ‘Hop Island’ workshop all ready to go and waited for the the happy noises to reach my part of the building and then all of a sudden…WHOOSH! It happened! Hop Island suddenly became a very exciting place indeed.
No longer were there just two people trapped on a rather empty looking island. Now there were volcanoes with magma pumping stations, talking trees, tigers, pirates, play parks, acid flame pits, monsters and princesses in castles.
Hop Island was transformed by the brilliant imaginations of the children and their families in Leicester, and I would like to share with you some of the pictures I took of their wonderful creations. Enjoy!
The Spark Artshave invited me along (wearing my ‘visual artist’ hat, rather than ‘animator’) to contribute to a Family Day at The Curve on Saturday 23rd May 10am-6pm. There will be lots of wonderful workshops happening throughout the building so pop it in your diary! For those of you that know The Curve, you’ll be aware of what a gorgeous, BIG space it is and I will be taking over a lovely chunk of the mezzanine to fill with some seriously crafty, Sojo fun for the whole family to happen upon and enjoy. Let me tell you more… HOP ISLAND! Mr Dedalus and his son Icarus are trapped on an island. Can you help to make the island a more exciting place? Families are invited to get seriously crafty and add something tricky onto the model Island for Mr. Dedalus and his son to encounter. You can create ANYTHING! Perhaps a grumpy bear in a cave or a rickety bridge, a secret maze or a talking tree. What will you add to Hop Island? Take a snap of your crafty addition and it can be added to our online #HopIsland gallery for all to enjoy. If you have any advice or special tips for Mr Dedalus and his son, to help them pass your obstacle, you can share it on our ‘Tips Board’ for all to see. Pop along at anytime throughout the day to join the fun. Suitable for all ages so bring the whole family and loads of imagination 🙂 This activity is loosely linked to ‘Hop’, a poetic physical dance theatre production for children aged 4+ and their families. Performances of ‘Hop’ are on Sat 30 May and can be booked by clicking right here.
Last week I was invited to run a Sojo Animation workshop alongside the Lakeside Arts learning team at Cantrell Primary School in Bulwell.
The kids in year five have been thinking about ‘persuasive arguments’ and have been using the book ‘The Great Kapok Tree’ to explore their ideas. What a cracking idea! Hats off to the teacher that thought of this. In the book the animals try to persuade a man not to cut down their tree. Rachel from the Lakeside Arts learning team transformed the class room into a rain-forest the evening prior to the workshops, ready for the children to discover in the morning. When I arrived at the school even the reception staff were full of smiles and excitement about how fabulous the room looked. I was in a less rainforesty (made up word alert!) room, but armed with a projector. The children animated their rain forest animals in ONLY 2 FRAMES (that’s extra tricky) and then handed over their freshly snapped jpeg files to me, to take away and compile into one, quite frankly, BRILLIANT animation. Well guys…I promised you that your characters would come alive in seven days so here you are. 🙂
You should all feel extremely proud of yourselves. I was blown away by your creativity!
The fourth ‘Thunk’ in a series of short animations celebrating the imaginations, artwork and voices of young children in Nottingham. Thank you to Amahrya, the most wonderfully imaginative four year old ever, and her brilliant mama.
I am over the moon that my 3 little ‘Thunk of the Day’ animations have been selected for this! Here’s Thunk no.1, incase you know not what I speak of.
The concept is brilliantly simple… 20 short films from 20 filmmakers based in the East Midlands. Thank you Beeston Film for another excuse to celebrate the huge pool of creative talent we are surrounded by.
Not long ago I was invited along to Lakeside Arts to get involved with some research into learning how to better design and make sensory theatre experiences for young audiences.
The research was conducted by University of Nottingham PhD student, Roma Patel. You can follow her work here.
Anyhow, this is all by the by, the point of this blog post is this…
On Friday I walked into university and my tutor, Sean Myatt, handed me a fabric covered, cube shaped box with a lovely card from Roma, thanking me for my help with the research.
And this lovely cube was packed full of the most gorgeous flip books. I couldn’t believe it! I hadn’t expected a pressie at all, but as far as gifts go, this was pretty perfect for a Sophie.
There is something very special about seeing the raw line art, those very simplified early thoughts of the designers and animators, and being able to hold those still sketches in your hands and with a nifty move of your thumb suddenly make those sketches come alive.
It’s fascinating! My kids agree. I think it’s time we make a flip book of our own.
Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men is a beautiful tribute to Walt Disney’s original animators and their matchless skill. Though the animators were mostly in their 30s and 40s, Disney jokingly called them his “Nine Old Men” in reference to a 1937 book of the same name. These animators are acknowledged as Disney Legends and unparalleled contributors to the history animation. Now their work is being celebrated in a collectible box set comprised of nine flip books, each featuring a beloved classic Disney scene.
Tomorrow Sojo Animation will be joining Lakeside Arts at Woodlands School to run a World Book Day themed workshop. We’ll be diving into the world of Roald Dahl and creating some of our own particularly horrible characters! I feel very proud to be involved. Thanks to the West 8 Education Improvement Partnership, which aims to: Raise standards of literacy. Increase parental involvement to improve school attendance and raise standards of achievement. Raise aspirations of children, young people, and their families in the community. Further develop the extended schools and and services in the area.
Wow! What a lovely day. I met some wonderful kids this morning, who created some fantastic characters. I wish I could share with you the presentations the children gave when sharing artwork with the group. Agh well… Here are a few pics…
This is a 35 year old lady who works with children and has 198 of her own children. She has red eyes, but not because she’s evil.
These dogs were all drawn by the same child. You wouldn’t believe how quickly he could create these sketches. I was completely blown away.
This was an evil platypus who was able to plug himself up to a conductor and harness the energy from lightening to do terrible things.
So it turns out that Woodlands School, a special needs school in Aspley, is full of the most incredibly brilliant children.