Works in progress

My Life Changed

Working with the Steve Sinnott Foundation, an Education For All charity, in December 2015 we successfully crowdfunded a suit of films to raise awareness of the difficulties of accessing education for people in various parts of the world. We will make three mini animated films of some of the personal stories we have found, exploring the journeys to change lives through education. This page will be updated regularly so you can see the progress.

Our first film is set in Haiti. To develop the art style for the animation I studied the works of the following Haitian artists; Claude Dambreville, Saincilus Ismael, and Philome Obin. I spent a couple of weeks studying Haiti, its culture and its incredible history, to make sure that the film reflected Haiti in the best way I could, to find reference material and the backdrop for the story. The opening section, based on sketches of composites of recent photos of Haiti, give a feel of documenting the current situation there. The memory scene illustrating Billy Jean’s story is based on a composite of paintings by Philome Obin, a naive style painter who included political subjects and observations of Haitian life in his work. It references the political events around the time Billy was born. He is more interested in how things can be improved than in the details of his own story, so I have included some of his comments, focusing on the lengths parents go to, to get an education for their children. The film has a ‘scrapbook’ structure to reflect the range of ideas and pieces of sound recording that comment on the topic. Here is the completed film:

The Next film is set in Sierra Leone, and is the story of Isata M. Kamara and her journey to complete her education. As inspiration for the visuals I’m looking at William Kentridge (South African animator) and Gibril Bangura (painter from Sierra Leon), two very different styles! I wanted the film to celebrate transformation and animation is particularly good at that. Kentridge makes an interesting observation about using other people’s stories as material for a film, artists use other peoples pain as raw material, “an appropriation of other people’s distress” but the hours spent making an image makes it become a compassionate act, “there is a sympathy towards that subject embodied in the labour of the drawing”( Bangura on the other hand talks about his paintings spreading happiness, an escape from the darkness and a belief in a bright future.