Tuesday 5th August 2008 Workshop 7

We began by talking about what interests each person and what images or objects related to their subject. The source material was diverse, from music to shoes, from animation to donkeys, from yoga to graffiti; the task was to find a large representative shape that could be used to start a visual dialogue between everyone’s interests.
The images were prepared as cut-outs or acetates and we each took turns to project them and draw them on the wall; first with pen, then we reinforced the marks by outlining the shape with coloured tape. These shapes did not physically touch each other so the character of each shape could be seen clearly. The activities that would follow were designed to create visual connections and encourage discussions about how the subjects could connect to each other. Next came the drawing of a second shape or using details from the first shape to explore one’s subject further. These images were again projected, only this time the valuable part was the point of intersection between one person’s projection and those already existing on the wall. Each person responded to the intersections on their shapes with the use of paint, either with lines or as a block of colour.

Collective shape marking

Collective shape marking

Already the distortions created from the tape and the changes made by the new painted marks helped each individual see their image change, it still could be understood as the original subject, yet the way that it was represented became both unexpected and altered from our former perceptions. As these activities progressed everyone involved found a great deal of pleasure in individualising the way that each shape was developed; for example some chose different ways to apply the tape and others different colours of paint to mark the wall.

The next task that was carried out was to develop all the work on the wall thinking about it as an entire piece. We were also developing this mass of images knowing that the shapes would be cut out and that the older layers beneath the paper would be revealed. We worked with the hope that something left behind on the paper might create new relationships with whatever was uncovered. This collaborative activity consisted of each person cutting out a small shape from coloured gel that would be placed on the OHP as to project into the spaces in between the drawn shapes. These would then be painted in any colour but that of the gel, so that visually the projection changed colour in front of our eyes.


While tucking into a nourishing packed lunch we all gathered round to watch a few animations. As well as having a relaxing break we also had the opportunity to look at various animation techniques from the medium’s short 100 year history. First up was Winsor McCay and his early “Gertie the Dinosaur” (1914), which illustrated the use of line based animation and was supplemented by the use of text narration, a convention used in the time of silent movies. This was followed by a few animations from the late 1930’s from the Fleischer studio – by this time animations were rendered in colour and had been synchronized with sound. Also we saw an advanced animation technique that consisted of filming animation cells on glass panels which, when staggered one behind the other, gave the impression of distance and motion. These animations exhibited, at times, as much as seven layers of imagery; we would later draw upon this technique for our own animation activity. A few more animations were shown, including one from the 1950’s by Columbia’s animation division and a few from a selection of contemporary British animation classics.

After Lunch we proceeded to work on developing the materials for an animation, taking a lead from the use of a multi-layered environment in the Fleischer animations we went on to develop a setting of our own. To do this we had three cardboard strips that reached across the width of the room. Firstly these were painted with colours, shapes, lines and stripes, with the idea that we would later cut into them. When painted in varying styles or completely covered in tape, as one group did, they were left to dry a little. Then we took a roll of tracing paper the same size as the cardboard panels and proceeded to work on them by using the same template generating technique that we have used for many of the earlier workshops. We drew a central line, drew outlines of shapes found in the Gallery space and made these outlines connect with the central line. The tracing paper was cut to reveal the template and then used to mark the painted panels. These panels were then cut to create two horizon like strips making eight depths of field (we beat Fleischer by one). We arranged these newly cut panels on tables and then proceed to cut out the shapes that we made in the morning to use as characters for our animation.

8 horizon layer animation

8 horizon layer animation

What occurred next was a hectic manoeuvring of shapes in a busy brightly designed environment; we attempted to catch it all on camera. We would have loved to carry on and create a longer animation but unfortunately it takes a great deal of time to prepare these materials so we poured all our energies into the time available.

We hope you enjoyed the film of the day.

Blue shapes on the wall

Blue shapes on the wall


workshop leaders:

Measure by Measure


Nidhi Naik

Tej Naik

Alisha Patel

Priyesh Mistry

Dayna Rookwood

Eleana Rayner

Isobel Rogers


1 Response to “Tuesday 5th August 2008 Workshop 7”

  1. 1 anna parsons August 19, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Very colourful and imaginative. Excellent.

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