Running Away with the Circus


After six months of intensive animation, I have had the satisfaction of seeing the live performance of Circa’s Carnival of the Animals. This circus spectacular combines extraordinary live performance with animated moving image in a 40 minute show for children. The work premiered this week at the Out of the Box Festival at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane. The set designs work beautifully, the projection is balanced perfectly with Jason Organ’s lighting design and the performers are genuinely astounding.

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Thanks to the Circa team for inviting me to join them on this adventure. And thanks also to Charlie Taylor, Jean-louis Pêcheur and James Baker for their inventive and idiosyncratic contributions to the work. Director Yaron Lifschitz declared this project never promised any sanity and there were definitely moments of madness along the way but ultimately Carnival of the Animals is a beautiful piece of work which deserves a long and prosperous life.

See a full portfolio of images from the performance here.

Back to Basics


I am working on a project this month in a local high school, helping their film club to complete their first animation projects. I spent yesterday setting up the process and was reminded once again of the sheer joy of animation. As we tested production pathways we did the most simple of animations a twirling pencil, a paper cut out, and some hand painted frames. So very simple and so very satisfying. I am looking forward to working with the students next week.

Motion


“Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash” by Giacomo Balla, 1912. As a child I was given a book called The Enchanted World, it was an eclectic collection of artists and the results of their imaginations. The painting above and the lion from Alexander Calder’s circus were the two images I loved the most. I think in observing this image, I had my first understanding of how time worked and how it could be represented visually. The animator in me still loves this painting.

Type

This week I am writing lectures about typographic design in motion, kinetic type exercises will abound. I have once again come across a few favourites in my process, firstly, the beautifully simple website Typographic Design: Form and Communication and secondly, the typeface Mrs Eaves from the Emigre Foundry, it appears the Mrs Eaves has at long last found her man. Emigre have just released the simple yet stylish, Mr Eaves.

Movement

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Next week I begin teaching a life drawing class about movement for animation. I am excited about it because the poses we generally draw from are completely static. It will be great to create action in the class and the drawings.

The Universal Drift


This weekend just gone saw my first gallery exhibition for some time. It took place at Gravelly Barn in Braughing, a group show of local artists with proceeds going to a number of cancer charities. It was a beautiful show and a pleasure to be involved. Photographs of the work produced can be seen on the gallery page. It feels like the beginning of a larger series, I am excited to see what happens next.