In September I was delighted to be asked to work at The National Media Museum in Bradford as a freelance Animation Artist. A few times a month I’m invited in to deliver creative animation sessions for visiting schools, colleges and companies.
In the the grand scheme of things it’s actually no different to when I teach in schools. The lessons I deliver cover the same things, animation, it’s history, the techniques, etc… But there’s something just a bit special about teaching in such an iconic museum. I grew up there, walking the exhibits with my Mum as a child, and then later as a teenager with my fellow media students. It was magic back then and it still is now.
I really enjoy having the animation exhibition as my classroom. My favourite piece is one of the real sets used in ‘Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit’. I love to show the children the detail that goes into a stop motion film. Literally everything in that set is handmade including the floorboards and tiny nails. It’s easy to inspire children if they can see for themselves how things are made.
I’ve been teaching for 15 years now and in all that time I have never had a permanent classroom. I’m always on the move, travelling to schools all across the UK, lugging my equipment along with me. It’s so refreshing to have a room that doesn’t move with equipment that’s permanently set up. Up in the belly of the museum is a shared teaching space called the ‘Action Zone’. This is where myself and others teach science and media to children and adults of all ages. It’s a fab room that really works well as an animating space. We’ve even set up some bespoke background boards to make it easier to create sets for our films.
So if you see me around the Museum with a smile on my face it’s because I really am enjoying my job.