Biography

I design and run participatory and educational animation projects throughout the North East region. I have made well over 150 films in the last 13 years with many schools, organisations and communities some of which have gone on to be nationally recognised and exhibited in places such as the National Gallery, The Design Council, The Berwick Film Festival, The Tyneside Cinema and the Sage Gateshead.

I believe in creativity and the storytelling aspects of animation and film as well as enjoying the fascination and unique experience that making both has for people, bringing their visions to life, I am committed to the principals that making animation and films are an extraordinary tool for learning, being creativite and participating and that everyone has the potential to develop personal expression through the art of film.

I graduated in 1990 from Exeter College of Art & Design with a B.A. in Fine Art Film & Video Production, where I began animating using stop motion techniques and super8 film stock, 16mm hand drawn abstract scratch animated films, early video animation and effects processing as well as very early computer animation – basically I’d be plotting hundreds of numbers into 486 IBM PCs to create animated 3D shapes as well as video image digitising and print which were then incorporated into filmed work and performance video pieces.

In 2003 I gained my M.A. in Computer Animation, specialising in character and facial animation, though my course of study I was able to train in advanced 3D animation using both Maya and Softimage as well as effects animation and post production techniques using a variety of packages such as After Effects, Photoshop, Combustion, Flash, Premiere and Final Cut.

I began working in the community creating animations with various groups in 2002 and have continued to the present day creating films and animations with many different groups of people. I especially find working with large numbers of people to make creative films hugely enriching. I have been very lucky to be involved with some wonderful groups of people creating films to celebrate and enhance the culture and history of the North East of England, from the Angel of the North to the distant past of the beautiful coastal region, leading suffragettes and memories of village life. as well as other fun stuff like ghost stories, zombies and aliens.

I spent about 4 years working with many regional schools along with Creative Partnerships to enhance the teaching and learning of children and teachers as part of a major study into Creativity in Education, I also managed to fit in gaining my P.G.C.E. in that time. Working with many creative practitioners, teachers and educationalists it has enabled me to understand their close relationships and realise the commitments necessary to successfully deploy creative teaching methods and the benefits that they have in the education of children and also the working practices of teachers. Using animation and film as a tool for education proved to be successful and rewarding for both teachers and children making the unique experience of bringing subjects, concepts and theories to life had measurable positive outcomes and the techniques I passed on to the schools I was involved with were adopted in many of their future strategies.

I have also previously taught stop motion animation at Cleveland College Of Art And Design and computer & Flash animation at Tyne Metropolitan College in North Tyneside as well as running regular workshops at the Tyneside Cinema and other projects around the region. I have also run a film club in Rothbury and I currently run an after-school animation club in a school in Ashington.

Throughout my years animating and filmmaking in the North I have maintained strong ties to Teesside University, The place I graduated from in 2003, from being a Digital City Fellow to running and designing many animation workshops and taster days for schools and colleges around the North of England. The one thing I am most proud of there is my long standing relationship with the truly remarkable International Animex Festival of Animation and Games. I regulalrly run workshops for children attending schools around Middlesbrough, establishing strong ties with the University and the Festival. I have had the honour of meeting many internationally renowned animators from the biggest studios known in the industry such as Pixar, Disney, Aardman and Industrial Light & Magic and I now consider them to be good friends. This wonderful festival has built connections and networks across the world that help to take humble animators from the North East to  the doorsteps of Hollywood and all the major animation and special effects studios and I am extremely proud to have been part of that.

Current Projects

Artist in Residence for Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, based in Blakelaw creating multi-media Family Portraits and encouraging them to make use of the Blakelaw Centre.

Braena Cultural Spring research work in Fulwell & animation and dance based projects in Ryhope in Sunderland using animation and video at the Blue Watch Youth Centre.

Right Size a Body Image awarenes project based in Stockton Riverside College, in conjunction with More Life & Tees Valley Arts with writer Michael Edwards and a small team of students from the college.

NCEA after school animation club.

Animex Festival animation workshops for primary schools in Middlesbrough.

Animation workshops at the Tweedmouth Middle School.

Project History

2015 & 2016 Animation workshops at Kingston Park Primary in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

2016 Animation workshop at Sicklinghall  School in North Yorkshire

2016 Animation workshop at Goldborough Primary School in North Yorkshire

2016 Braena film production with Fulwell Resource Centre – Visit to the Beach

2015-2016 Animex International Animation And Games Festival Animation Workshops in association with the BBC 10 Pieces project, Middlesbrough

2016  Swarland First School, Seasons Time-lapse animation & Romans in Britain video project

2015-2016  Young Carers project in North Tyneside with YMCA

2012-2016  Northumberland CofE Academy – After School Animation Club

2015-2016  Further work for Braena Dance Performance company, video project for Brother & Sister performance

2015  Returned to Tullie House in Carlisle animation taster workshops for their “Weekend of Film” festival

2015 Asylum Awareness Project at Teesside University working with Bob Beagrie and Elvis Katoto, mentoring students to produce a collaborative experience in film animation and poetry

2015 Dr Thomlinson Middle School transitions Day artist, facilitator

2015 Glendale Film Club in Wooler documentary project

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjGL7bYbJ9s

2015 Swarland Primary School in Northumberland after school animation project

2015 Tyneside Cinema Easter holiday Animation Workshops

2015 Braena Dance group & The Cultural Spring South Tyneside Arts Initiative – Dance and Video portrait film and sound installation

2015  Student Recruitment Teesside University community animation taster workshops

2015 Animex International Animation And Games Festival & Gables Care Home Animation Workshops

2014  Animex International Animation And Games Festival – Animation Workshops with school children from the Teesside region

2014  Tullie House in Carlisle animation taster workshops for their “Weekend of Film” festival

2014  Cup Of Tea short film, produced in Rothbury

2014  Braena Dance Performance company, video project for Brother & Sister performance at Dance City

2014  Teesside University , York College & Dyke House Sports & Technology College – animation taster sessions promoting Teesside University

https://www.yorkcollege.ac.uk/in-the-news/274-summer-term-2014/1201-students-get-animated-during-teesside-university-visit.html

2014  Kings Meadow School in Gateshead – Anti homophobia resource – video and drama project

2014  Coquet Voices – “Last in the Line” Video project a fantasy based on local tales

2014  Afasic UK “My Speech & Me” an animation project with artist Lavinia Scott

2014  Afasic UK “Talking About Our Lives” video project

2014  Afasic UK & Caught in the Act Drama Club film project

2014  Arts Centre Washington Saturday animation club – Mix-Up

2014  Coquet Voices – The life of Lord Armstrong animation project in conjunction with Rothbury Middle School and Cragside House

2013 “On The Up” – A digital careers fair with filmed interviews and biographies of people and business in the Northumberland Uplands region. Working with Young Farmers, regional Youth Clubs, Young Filmmakers and King Edward VI School in Morpeth

2013 Barnados – Participatory Animation project & Barnados Circles group animated short

2013 Tyneside Cinema – Pop up animation week

2013 Durham University Summer School animation project

2013 Newbiggen Arts Hub – Animation drop in sessions

2013 Afasic UK, Hetton School, Hetton-Le-Hole – promotional video for the work of the Afasic Society and the Speech & Language Provision at the school

2013 – Coquet Voices, Dr Thomlinson CofE Middle School – “Haunted Again” – a video tale about a family haunted by its past, narrated in Northumberland dialect

2013 – Emily Inspires, 100th Anniversary of Emily Wilding Davison Digital Story

2013 – Eastern Ravens, Stockton Young Carers – Cut-out animation to promote the Young Carers group and to highlight the role of their organisation and friendship

2013 – Washington Arts Centre, Mix Up – Saturday Animation Club

2013 Animex Festival, University of Teesside – animation taster workshops for schools in and around Middlesbrough

2012 – VODA, Shiremoor – “On The Beach” a cut-out animation made with teenagers from the Voluntary Organisations Development Agency, they interviewed older people from the area about their recollections of the beach in 3 areas, the war, work and leisure. They then interpreted those interviews using cut-out animation

2012 – Shimmer Festival Whitley Bay, North Tyneside Council, VODA, Coquet Park Primary School, Age UK – Whitlath Exegesis, an animation produced with the help of over 100 participants about the geological history of Whitley Bay, the film was projected onto the side of the Waves Leisure Centre in Whitley Bay as part of the Shimmer Festival.

2012 – Heaton Manor School & Catch 22 – Arts Award Pixilated animation workshops

2012 – St Johns CofE Primary School, Knaresborough – Animation workshops with primary age children to re-create film genres in short animated films for an awards ceremony based on the Oscars ceremony

2012 – Byker Primary School, Northern Architecture & Clara Crivellaro – Animation and timelapsed workshops to interpret life in and around the buildings of the Byker Estate – this has led onto producing documentary footage and interviews for the Byker Festival and Byker Lives project. numerous workshops have been held on filming for documentaries and basic editing techniques. I also was asked to edit together archive film material for exhibition and web use Link – http://bykerlives.com/

2012 – Animex Festival  & The University Of Teesside – animation workshop taster sessions

2011 – Dr Thomlinson CofE Middle School & Creative Partnerships – Supporting science education using pixilated animations and plasticine animation. Additionally a film was produced for a national competition at the National Gallery in London, which the students were commended for and the film was also exhibited in the Gallery itself. Details are in my main blog.

2011 – Allendale First School & Haydon Bridge Shaftoe Trust First School with Creative Partnerships – supporting literacy, history and changing environments using animation producing 6 films about The Gruffallo, Fishes that Had Wishes, Fantastic Adventures, cut out animations about changing schools, discovering hidden treasures through archaeology and creating a memory of school for the future as well as running several CPD sessions for the teaching staff.

2011 – Boldon Secondary School & Creative Partnerships – supporting science education using animation.

2010 – Bedlington Station Primary School & Creative Partnerships – Changing materials Volcanoes & History the great fire of London animation projects

2010 – Fordley Community Primary School, Northumberland & Creative Partnerships – Animation projects to support literacy and maths and a timelapse animation looking at the built environment

2010 – Catcote School, Business & Enterprise, Hartlepool & Creative Partnerships – Animation project communicating change and identity

2010 – Guidepost Middle School & Creative Partnerships – Animated photography and literacy project

2010 – Beaumont Hill Education Village, Darlington & Creative Partnerships – Animation workshops on literacy and communication

20072009 – Hallgarth Community Arts College, Middlesbrough – regular animation club and animation taster sessions for visiting primary schools

2009 – Ringway First School, Guidepost, Creative Partnerships, Ford Castle, Victoria & Albert Museum, The Design Council – Ford Castle Project to redesign a part of the castle using animations and interactive projections, this led to consultations on the design process and how creativity is used in education

2009 – Greenfields Community Primary School, Wideopen & Creative Partnerships – Learning science through animation – Gases, Liquids & Solids

2009 – Saville Exchange, North Shields – Plasticine animation workshops to celebrate the inventor of Plasticine

2009 – Priory Woods School, Middlesbrough – PMLD experiential animation project

2009 – Middlesbrough Education Department & Hallgarth Community Arts College – Extended Learning Provision Promotional Video

2009 – Prior Park Primary, Berwick Upon Tweed – Pixilated and cut out animation workshop

2009 – Park End Primary School, Middlesbrough – Teaching early years Mathematics & History using animation

2009 – Middlesbrough Education Department & Hallgarth Community Arts College – Making Opportunities – Business relations with educational establishments in Teesside promotional

2009 – Burnside Business & Enterprise College, Wallsend – Story writing and storyboard lecture for learning initiatives

2009 – Priory Woods School, Middlesbrough – Puppet Animations

2009 – Animates, Middlesbrough Arts Development & University Of Teesside – Animated Ads was shown as part of the Royal Television Society’s Young People’s Digital Video Showcase

2008 – Tyneside Cinema – “Angel Animation” worked with over 60 people to create an animated celebration of the 10 year anniversary for the Angel Of The North

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOrW3AFTYRk

2008 – Digital Voice & Gateshead Council – “Shearer’s Shirt” & Red Kites & The Angel animation projects to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Angel Of The North

2008 – Cockfield Primary School, Bishop Auckland & Creative Partnerships – Jungle Explorer & Egyptian animated projects

2008 – Dryden School , Gateshead – Mobility animation project

2008 – Priory Woods School, Middlesbrough – Teeth, Space and Changing Materials time lapse & stop motion animated projects

2007 & 2008 – BBC Blast, Middlesbrough & Newcastle – Flash taster sessions

2007 – Digital Voice, Newbiggen Hall & Galafield Play & Youth Centre, Prudhoe Youth Club – Pixilated, plasticine and puppet animations

2007 – BBC, Proms in the Park, Tees Valley Symphony Project – “Journey To The Proms”

2007 – Croftway First School, Blyth & Creative Partnerships – Interactive Map, past Present & Future animation & Film project (With fellow filmmaker Andrew Coats)

2007 – Middlesbrough Arts Development – Media Routes – Animation Challenge Weekend

2007 – Ultimate Youth, Gateshead CLC, Swalwell Community Fire Station & Shipley Museum – Animated Shoes!

2007 – Lord Lawson of Beamish School, Birtley – Pixilated Zombie Animation Project

2007 – Millway Centre, Gateshead – Puppet Animation Project

2007 – Wansbeck District Council – Animated Beaches

2006 – Northern Lights Film Festival & Tyneside Cinema – The Moomins Nursery Animations

2006 – Animates – Middlesbrough Arts Development & Acklam CLC – Creative Routes Animated Shorts

2006 – Living History North East & Tyneside Cinema with Heddon-on-the-Wall First School – Earliest Village Memories Animation Project

2006 – Beverley School for Autistic Children, Middlesbrough – Anti Bullying Animation

2006 – Isis Arts, Nitin Sawnhey, Creative Partnerships & Grange View First School Widdrington Station – “Anthem For Northumberland”

2006 – Gateshead Council & Tyneside Cinema – Early Years & Childcare Services Nursery schools project – Ring O’ Roses Nursery – “Cat & Dog”, Montessori Nursery – “Snow White”, Bensham Grove Nursery – “The Alien”

2006 – Northern Lights Film Festival, University of Teesside – History of Animation Lectures & Activities

2006 – South Shields CLC – Open Zone Learning project on the Tall Ships Race

2005 – Middlesbrough First – Advocacy Services & Advocacy Training Promotional

2004 – Teesside University Animex Community Project “Atty Potter”

2004 – Animates – Middlesbrough Arts Development – “Soccer Messiah”

2003 – Teesside University Animex Festival Community Projects -“Toot & Floot”

2003 – Pre-viz animatics – Thrilanfere Ltd

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