Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Interview: Animator Kathryn Bray talks about her claymation, 'Your Treasure Your Heart'

'Your Treasure Your Heart' a Claymation by Kathryn Bray
Opens 2pm, 27th August – 7th September

Explain the concept behind your claymation and exhibition 'Your Treasure Your Heart', and tell us what people can expect to see at the show?
'Your Treasure Your Heart' tries to visually explain a proverb (a wise saying or teaching) that Jesus told a long time ago; 'For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.' Billy and Benny are two critters with very similar lives but very different approaches to it. The story

The exhibition will be showing the film, and also the process of making it. Hopefully you'll get a little bit of an idea what its like living in a clay world. It's pretty cute.

What is claymation, and what do you enjoy about creating an animation in this style?
Claymation uses the same principles as stop motion, which is uses the same principles as film. When individual images or frames run past our eyes fast enough, we believe we are watching continuous motion rather than a collection of static images. The only difference then is film captures action that is already happening, in stop motion the animator has to make the action happen between frames. It takes a little longer.

There's a lot I enjoy about claymation! I like the beginning, sketching character concepts, exploring their expressions and personalities. Then I love getting clay under my nails while modelling the characters and testing out their facials. I love it when I can give what was previously a block of plasticine on a shelf a personality, and look like its confused, day dreaming or sulking.

I actually enjoy the process of setting up the shot, taking the shot, adjusting the characters by 2mm, taking another shot. It's as if your sense of time has slowed down to match that of the claymation, like it's normal to take 12 minutes to scratch your nose instead of the usual 2.5 seconds.

Taking the first photo is probably the scariest bit about the whole thing - cos once you start, that's it! You keep shooting till its done. If something stuffs up, well that's too bad isn't it! Just hope you can fix it in the editing stage, or, have a distraction tactic ready for when you play it to people. Or embrace the style of 'Rustic Chic', or 'Glam Glitch' as in this case.

Where did you get inspiration from for the character design of your animation?
The script was quite cute and targeted towards children, so I tried to make characters and props to match that style, lots of rounded edges, simple and stylised, bright colours. I got ideas from the claymation 'Pingu' for the set which has a white backdrop, and very minimalist set, which works beautifully as your imagination doesn't need a lot to make up something quite wonderful!

The design also had to be governed by function. As I had next to no experience in claymation, I had to have characters and props which were easy to keep track of - this is no Mary and Max! So no more clothes, limbs, or phalanges than absolutely necessary!

Have you produced animations previously? What methods/style have you created these with?
I've produced one claymation before using the method of 'I have one weekend to pump out a two minute clip so I'll push this ball of clay around and see what happens'.

The other animations I've done have all been using either Flash or After Effects. My very first and one of my most favourite animations used Flash for a uni project. It was a music video using Queen's 'Flash Gordon', and about a starfish who was saving the world from intergalactic terror and mass destruction. The next semester I accidentally wiped everything off my computer. That was 10 years ago but it still hurts on the inside.

What's on the horizon for future animations?
Fun times! I'm currently in cohorts with the wonderful creative power-duo Phil and Meredith Walker-Harding (also known as the Cardboard Collective), and at the moment we're all about paper, in particular shadow puppets. Which is like stop-motion, but faster.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sneak Peek: New artists and artwork

This week we're opening up our exhibition space to introduce some new artwork and artists to the gallery.

Welcome new Artists

Beth Josey
Beth enjoys the challenge of communicating to her audiences in different mediums, taking advantage of the visual impact that each can provide. Dramatic lino prints have become a focus for much of her work. The high contrast and strong lines of the medium create a graphic and raw image that only relief printing can offer.

Although Beth's work refuses to be characterised by a single regimented style, the relationship between the works can always be found in the figurative yet unquestionably strange nature of her subjects and compositions.

Di Conlon
Is retired and likes knitting, she enjoys craft and stuff. A sketchbook is her travel companion. If she could knit and scuba dive, she would.

Jen Allison
Jen is a Sydney-based artist who works with paper and origami techniques to create little masterpieces. She likes to use origami in a non-traditional way and works with all kinds of paper, or anything foldable, in her practice. Sometimes her works are very conceptual and aim to make a statement, but she also makes gentler, more evocative pieces. She also works with customer's own images to create personalised, one-off works.

Little Dot
Sitting in a small living room in the tiny country of New Zealand a little dot of an idea had sparked in the mind of Alice, and Little Dot was born. As she explained it to her husband, Josh,“I want to make stationery that’s like a fashion accessory.” “Why not call it fashionery then?” suggested Josh.The spark fired and grew until Little Dot fashionery included not only beautiful stationery, but hair ties, scarves, card, pouches and of course, Little Dot and Lulu, the character dolls of the Little Dot collection.

New work from some of our favourites
Benconservato (Emma Kidd)
Is an artist / illustrator. She has traveled and lived in Europe and a land of mythical animals. Her heart is still in both, despite loving being back in Australia. She encourages you to find your inner monster.

Beth takes delight in the study of nature. Her approach to figurative illustration combines the fantastical world of her imagination with representations of the real-world flora and fauna. She also loves to draw from her roots as a printmaker and experiments by fusing her illustrations with abstract and tactile imagery. Beth likes to collaborate with other like-minded creatives.

I like my tea with soy and honey – thanks.

Kate Banazi
I am an illustrator and silkscreen printer from London, currently based in Sydney, Australia. I have a BA hons degree in fashion from Central St Martins and am rather deft with a pair of shears, a cotton reel and a slice of cake.

I am brown eyed, right handed and very often melancholy. I am very good at multi tasking.
You will often find me eating, talking, drinking and drawing, all at the same time.
I think I make the perfect Yorkshire puddings, but I am more than willing to try yours

S.P.Y Downunder (Stephanie Lee)
Somewhere in the design world, an independent designer and travel junkie with a background in architecture decided to venture into creating fun things for your home. Memories collected during trips abroad are somehow weaved into the designs, all with a limited colour palette, strong graphical designs, and made with organic materials from sustainable sources. Combined with a love of words and art, a homeware collection was born. All items you see on this website have been brainstormed over hot cups of tea, and made with love.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Change of shop hours

Until further notice Sweets Workshop will be closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Our normal hours are in place for the following days:
Wednesday & Friday 10am - 5.30pm
Thursday 10am - 6.30pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Food Fight 2011 - Submissions

The Pack A Picnic – Edition

Food Fight is a yearly collaborative exhibition and accompanying zine produced by Sweets Workshop. Food Fight is all about food, pitting image against text, recipe against illustration, photograph against story. In the ring this year is the humble picnic.

We’re calling for submissions from artists and writers to contribute to the exhibition and zine. What we’re looking for, are illustrations, design, photography, recipes, stories, poems that celebrate the picnic. Your creation can focus on any aspect, from what to pack to where to go.

The exhibition will run from 23rd of October to 15th November, with the launch of the zine on the 23rd to co-inside with the Summer Hill Food Fair. YUM! The publication will be printed on 100% recycled stock and will be a limited edition print run, it’ll be a short and sweet size and will be hand finished. To have a look at what was on offer last year for the Sweet Tooth Edition, go to our website.

If your artwork is selected it may feature in the publication and/or the exhibition (where it can be offered for sale). Any written piece or artwork chosen to be included in the Food Fight publication or exhibition will receive a free copy of the publication.

Submissions close on the 17th of September 2011. Email us your entry as a low res electronic file (pdf or jpg) to info@sweetsworkshop.com. If your work is chosen, we will contact you for high res files. If working digitally please make sure you work to 300dpi, and if working by hand we can organise high res scans. Please feel free to forward this invitation to anyone you think might be interested in contributing.

For those of you who don’t know about Sweets Workshop we are a retail art gallery which exhibits and stocks art, decorative objects, giftware and independent publications with a strong focus on locally handmade items. Located in Summer Hill, our aim is to offer the community something original, sweet and within reach. We have a dedicated exhibition space, which can feature one particular artist/designer, object, artistic process or theme at a time. The exhibitions change regularly to incorporate as many artists and designers as possible. For information about us please visit our website www.sweetsworkshop.com

The selection criteria for Food Fight will be at the discretion of Sweets Workshop.