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After the weekend the new wall still needed some work on, filling, sanding and painting and Franziska, who is on work experience and works upstairs in the arts office helped me out with this.

Thursday ended up being a very busy day full of visitors.

First of all the Kilkenny SOS group pictured above were on a day out in Kilkenny and called in and participated in both the collaborative chalk and pen drawing animation. Then there was a constant stream of visitors all contributing to the animations that afternoon.

Ooops caught on camera, well you can’t just let everyone else have all the fun, once you are on the blackboard its hard to get off! Took by Caroline Finn, Niamh’s sister, I’l make sure I get her back with a photo when she’s not expecting it!

During my fourth week I started to build up the second character in the front room. The materials I am using are what I used to use when building structures in parades, economic and quick to use, hydrodare (water pipe) and paper mache.

The stucture goes up quick enough, but its the painting that takes the time. This face took me nearly a week to paint, I find I can only really paint faces first thing in the morning, after about 9am the magic seems to go and it becomes a struggle.

I did decide to go for the glitter on her top in the end, I’m glad as it was the right descision.

I love the bread van in this photo above.

I discovered stop motion animation almost by accident. I had been trying to document my art work and was attempting to show how some parts of my work either has doors in them or parts that moved. In November 2008 I participated in a one day stop motion animation workshop with artist Aideen Barry at the Galway Film Centre. Aideen also gave me an extra tutorial on editing which was greatly appreciated.
Below is an example of what I had originaly intended on using the animation for:

…. but from that day I caught the animation bug.

Once you have the animation bug you find it hard to look a a regular drawing or image without concidering the potential to make it move. I am still learning animation and am teaching myself mainly through my many mistakes, it is important to have caught the ‘bug’ to enable you to spend so much time re-doing your work.

Since 2009 I invested in a laptop for the groups to use, cameras and tripods and am now delighted to be teaching basic stop motion animation to groups of all ages. It is such an enjoyable art form to teach and it combines so many different skills for groups to learn, the feedback is always so possotive, people just get blown away by the magic of making their work come to life.

At the same time as me discovering animation, artists Aideen Barry and Cathal Mc Carthy were working on “Words are My Prisoner” art project with Carrowbeg Theatre Company  in Westport, Co Mayo, I really liked the way the work combined all different art mediums in particular the input of animation.

I had seen on the W.A.M.P. website (the link above) an image of large projected animated  heads and I contacted them and asked if I could use the idea with the Tuesday animation group.

It also reminded me of the old Peter Gabriel “Sledgehammer” video, the song I never liked, but the animation always fascinated me, it looks a bit dated mow though, below is a small 20 second snippet of the video.

In order to plan the workshop out I made my own projected face animation and it was great fun to do. I did this just in a couple of hours just for an example.

The second workshop went really well and the group enjoyed taking the photos, projecting them on the wall and tracing them. I have asked them to concider what will be happening and animated around their heads and to bring in any objects and images from home for the third session next week.

The drawings looked stunning and we stuck some up on the window. James stuck a brown envelope over his mouth, the drawings have been attracting a crowd at the windows.

Appollogies – the W.A.M.P. link doesn’t work, I will find out how to add the link correctly, but for now you can google it and you will get to their website.

No.76 John’s Street used to be an interior shop and Friday was the day arranged to take down the final wallpaper paneled wall.

For my June exhibition in Kilkenny Arts Office I will be exhibiting new work made in Kilkenny along side some work made from last year. The peice I had in mind for this particular wall needs an eight inch gap behind it to fit in a small box and a small screen. This was handy that this wall was being moved anyway as it wouldn’t be too much extra work to bring it forward.

Thanks to Steve and Andy for the help, they made a great wall, and Andy even cut off the top of his thumb for the cause, it was the new Velcorapter-laser-beam hand saw that did it. He will be ok and will be able to continue to make his own art! Phew.

I must find out/invent what plan ‘B’ is if the DVD player which is now inside the wall breaks down though… as the wall is completly solid!

This was Friday and I had planned to go back to Galway at the weekend to collect more work for the exhibition, it was very hard to drag myself away from Kilkenny, but while I was up in Co Galway I did take my new camera for a quick dip in my favourite swimming spot in Lough Mask, below is a short film of the lake.

Week three seemed to blur into just a mass of workshops, making art, buying materials, talking and generally totally loving working in Kilkenny and my fantastic big studio.

On Tuesday evening I ran the first of six animation workshops with a group of teenagers from Kilkenny.

Some had done a bit of animation before, we started with simple line drawing animation as its a great introduction to see results fast, and if you have animated before its always very enjoyable. I would usually ask the group to draw 12 images this makes up a whole second of animated film which can be looped if needed. The group got very absorbed and drew away up to fifty drawings.

This is a film is the results from their first session, there are two of the girls animations missing as they took them home to work on. The music is evidence of my extremely dodgy taste in music, the group will decide their own music or sounds for their final piece. I just crudely edited this together just for the blog.

Youtube seems to cut the last bit out of films, so you miss the flowers falling over in this film. I will sort this out later on.

For my next filming and swimming trip I was delighted to be able to contact Donal another swimmer from the Waterford Open Water Society, who is also training to swim the Channel in August, all on his own, in togs, he’s hoping to do it in around 14 hours. He showed me the most amazing cove just past Tramore where there is a group of regular year round swimmers.

I love the commradery of these swimming spots, everyone is always so friendly, a shared crazy passion for cold water. After all the banter of  “cheat” and ” thats not swimming” style rip-taking because I was wearing a wetsuit, they all calmed down when I said I’l go in in togs when I get back, but I had to film first and that’s slow cold work!

This film has a lot of different angles in, I love the upside down leg kicking shots and the bright light. The camera must have slipped up a bit as I was swimming as when I thought I was filming Donal swimming I was actualy filming the sky! All part of the learning curve and I still have lots of footage to go through, this is definately a continual work in progress.

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Art at No. 76

The aim and focus of the Art Residency at No. 76 is to enable the successful applicant to research and develop their practice. Other aims of the residency are to: give insights into how and why artists create their work, build relationships and further promote the Arts, provide an awareness and further appreciation of the Arts, cultivate and develop new audiences. The Kilkenny Arts Office is part of

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April 2010