Sunday, April 1, 2012

Interview: Dell Stewart

(Image of Dell working at Harvest Workroom on her current residency)
Image Source: Harvest Workroom
It's been a while since we have done an interview here and I am very excited that our latest interview is with Dell Stewart as I have been a fan of her artwork and blog for a while. As mentioned in my previous post Dell is teaching a 4 day stop-motion workshop at Harvest Textiles from the 2nd - 5th April for teens. In addition to the workshop Dell is currently participating in a residency at Harvest Workroom working on experiments with printing which will be used in a handmade book and animation.  You will be able to view the animation at the Harvest Workroom window (510- 512 Lygon Street, East Brunswick) as it progresses over the residency. 

Dell amazes me with her ability to work so well across many artistic disciplines and also her genuine passion and support for other people's art, craft, design and animation (which you can see through her blog) is inspiring.

So here we go - a little conversation with Dell about her stop-motion work

1. Tell us a little about your arts/design background

I have been making things as long as I can remember. I studied Fine Art – Printmaking and Drawing – in Queensland. I then moved to Melbourne and later studied Animation and Interactive media at R.M.I.T. I have been exhibiting regularly since art school, everything from drawing, installation and photography to animation, clothing and textiles.

2. When did you first discover stop-motion animation?

I guess I sort of fell into animation. I remember discovering after effects on a friends computer and playing around with it, I was excited enough to think I could do some animation for my first exhibition in Melbourne at First Floor artist's and writer's space. This seems crazy to me now, and I get a rash just considering most editing and post production software now. Some rotoscoped drawn animation I did for an exhibition at Utopian Slumps in 2007, Dead to the World.


I later discovered stop motion at R.M.I.T. but at the time I was definitely more interested in drawing, both on paper and in the computer. Annemarie Szeleczky was doing her Masters at A.I.M. at the time, working with found objects on glass in layers under the camera, I do remember loving her multi-layered collages to music. Just through seeing so much animation during my time at A.I.M. and watching other students working on various projects opened up the possibilities for me.

3. Do you have any particular favourite stop-motion works or other artists that inspire you?

 Andrew Thomas Huang. Amazing!

Allison Schulnik's  Forest. and Mound. 

Also Maricor/MaricarPES  short and sweet, Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine and my beloved husband Adam Cruickshank!

Early on it'd have to be Terry Gilliam, maybe the first stop motion I ever saw?

4. What mediums do you like to work with to create your sets and characters?

Stop motion appeals to me for it's rich tactility. With better quality cameras and the ease of shooting on digital you can really capture the qualities of whatever you are working with. I'm inclined to work with paper cut-outs as I still love to paint and draw, and I love working with textiles – also other found bits and pieces – anything is possible! Fruit Salad.

I worked with Kate Matthews on an Artist's in Schools project at Wooranna Park Primary where they had a multi layered animation box for the purpose of animating easily with children. It was a fun project and we were delighted by the results, animating with paper cut-outs, rice and spices, photos and collage elements.

Kate and I have since run school holiday animation workshops at Artplay working with paper cut-outs  and we would love to do more.

5. What has been your favourite stop-motion piece that you have worked on?

I didn't do any stop motion in this project (I was drawing) but 'It's Like That' by the Southern Ladies Animation Group. The puppets were incredible knitted birds, beautifully animated by Sharon Parker, Justine Wallace, Sophie Raymond, and Diana Ward.

6. Can you talk a little on the processes used and experience of making this stop-motion animation?

It was a collaborative process, an idea brought to the group by Nicole Mackinnon, that basically everyone felt needed to be told. 'It’s Like That' uses the voices of 3 refugee children held in mandatory detention under the Migration Act 1958. They were interviewed over the phone by ABC journalist Jacqueline Arias. Once the soundtrack was edited it was broken up into sections for each animator to work on, with the stop motion characters narrating and holding the story together. This story is sadly still as relevant today as it was in 2003. Watch it! I drew the firey rice.

And read about it:

7. What are your future plans in animation? Do you have anything in the pipeline that you would like to talk about?

I'm currently doing a residency at Harvest Workroom  and I hope to do some more stop-motion workshops later this year, at both Craft Victoria and Harvest textiles. My own projects might be limited to some experiments to go along with music and a few elements for my exhibition at West Space  later in the year. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Event: "Scrap Paper Animation" with Dell Stewart

(Image Source: Harvest Textiles)
There is a great stop-motion animation workshop being run by Dell Stewart at Harvest Textiles in Melbourne for the kids this school holidays (2-5 April). "Scrap Paper Animation" is part of a 4 day workshop series for 9 - 16 years of age and is an awesome opportunity to learn to use collage cutouts and printed paper elements to create sets and characters using a multi-layered glass set-up. Lucky Kids!

If you are interested in participating you can book here.

We are hoping to have more on Dell's work coming soon.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Event: ACMI presents William Kentridge Public Programs

(Image Source: ACMI)

I always wonder how time disappears so fast - feels like yesterday when we posted about the upcoming William Kentridge Exhibition Five Themes and now the time is almost upon us! The Australian Centre for the Moving Image has recently sent us some information on the upcoming public programs which will no doubt sell out quickly so if you are interested in getting in early here is the info:

William Kentridge: Public Programs
Programs held from 4 March until 27 May 2012

Coinciding with the exhibition William Kentridge: Five Themes (8 March to 27 May), one of the world’s leading contemporary artists – William Kentridge – will inspire and take part in a series of public programs presented by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image  (ACMI).


Sunday 4 to Saturday 10 March, Opening times vary (Closed Wednesday 7 March)
Flinders Street Amphitheatre, Federation Square

Presented by Arts Access Victoria, Nebula is a revolution in inclusive design. It is Australia’s first portable and adaptive art space intentionally designed to meet the needs of artists with a disability. 

Located alongside ACMI, Nebula provides an accessible and functional space for artists to create work, conduct workshops, mount exhibitions and invite public engagement.

The Nebula studio will also showcase animations that have been inspired by the works of William Kentridge.

Visitors are invited to watch the artists as they work during Artists in Residence sessions, explore the gallery, and attend a talk with Nebula creators Andrew Maynard Architects.

General Gallery Access
Monday 5 March, 10am – 4pm
Saturday 10 March, 10am – 12pm
Free Admission. Drop in.

Artists in Residence
Sunday 4 March, 1pm – 4pm
Tuesday 6 March, 1pm – 4pm
Thursday 8 March, 1.30pm – 4pm
Friday 9 March, 1pm – 4pm
Free Admission. Drop in.

Public Talk with Nebula creators Andrew Maynard Architects

Monday 5 March, 4pm
Nebula, Flinders Street Amphitheatre, Federation Square

Join Andrew Maynard Architects as they discuss the creation of Australia’s first portable arts space for artists with a disability. Free Admission. Tickets available on the day from the ACMI Tickets & Information Desk.

In Conversation with William Kentridge

Tuesday 6 March, 6.30pm
ACMI Cinemas

Join curator and art historian Mark Rosenthal in conversation with William Kentridge. An artist that has created a remarkable body of work ranging from drawings and films to prints, tapestries and sculptures, Kentridge’s work offers a fresh and distinctive glimpse of the daily lives of South Africans. Tickets on sale soon via

Intermix: Nebula + Five Themes

Wednesday 7 March, 1pm
Flinders Street Amphitheatre, Federation Square

Enter Nebula – a dynamic portable arts space created for artists with a disability – and get animated. This hands-on workshop offers young folks 13 to 18 years old the opportunity to create a portion of a short film in collaboration with Nebula artists in the Nebula hub.

Inspired by the works of William Kentridge, the animations produced in this workshop will pay homage to the artist’s unique and distinctive techniques, and will be incorporated into an animated film created by Nebula to be released later in 2012.

Free admission but limited spots are available. Participants must register in advance via

21st Century Museums: SFMOMA ‘Looking Back/Looking Forward’

Thursday 8 March, 4pm
ACMI Cinemas

Neal Benezra, Director of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) – the first institution to exhibit William Kentridge: Five Themes – talks about the history of SFMOMA, its collections, exhibitions and architecture, and the museum’s future directions and expansion. Tickets on sale soon via

Anti-Entropy: A Natural History of the Studio

Thursday 8 March, 6.30pm
ACMI Cinemas

A public lecture by William Kentridge, who will delve into the anti-entropic world of the artist’s studio and its ability to provide a safe place for productive stupidity. Tickets on sale soon via

Video Garden: Art Day South Film Works

Thursday 8 March to Sunday 27 May
Video Garden, ACMI
Experience a collection of short films by artists with a disability from the Art Day South collective. Ranging from hand drawn animation to digital works made with custom software and motion tracking technology, the collection includes new works inspired by William Kentridge.

William Kentridge Curator Tours

Thursday 29 March, 2pm
Thursday 19 April, 2pm
Thursday 3 May, 2pm
Gallery 1, ACMI

ACMI Curator Sarah Tutton and Assistant Curator Ulanda Blair will share their perspectives on various works in the exhibition, exploring the five key themes found in William Kentridge’s work. Free with an exhibition ticket.

William Kentridge: Creative Animation

Saturday 28 April, 10am
Studio 2, ACMI

Inspired by the work of William Kentridge, this workshop will explore how hand drawn animation can be created from drawings and cut out images. Participants will put together backgrounds, design characters, and learn through step-by step-tutorials how to animate their work using desktop computers and stop motion software. Tickets on sale soon via

On Apartheid

Wednesday 2 May, 6.30pm
ACMI Cinemas

Reflecting the themes of the William Kentridge exhibition, human rights lawyer and activist Andrea Durbach presents a screening of A Common Purpose and a discussion of her experience of Apartheid. Indigenous consultant Jason Eades will also explore some of Australia’s separatist practices of the past. Tickets on sale soon via

William Kentridge: Degrees of Separation   

Sunday 27 May, 2pm
Studio 1, ACMI 

Three presentations from Prof Jill Bennet, Dr Anne Rutherford and curator Victoria Lynn will explore the work of William Kentridge – the themes of his work, the mediums he explores and his distinctive creative process - drawing from the speakers’ intimate knowledge of the artist’s work. Tickets on sale soon via

William Kentridge: Five Themes premieres in Australia after travelling to San Francisco, New York, Paris, Vienna, Jerusalem and Moscow. The exhibition explores five key themes that have captivated Kentridge throughout his career.

Well known for his stop motion films of charcoal drawings, Kentridge’s multi-disciplinary approach will be showcased through over 60 works ranging from animations, drawings and prints to theatre models, sculptures and books.

Born in 1955 in South Africa, and continuing to reside in his hometown of Johannesburg, Kentridge is highly regarded for a body of work that reveals strong links to the social and political environment of his home country. Tackling issues of colonial oppression, reconciliation, and the transient nature of individual and shared memory, his work deftly combines the political with the poetic. 

William Kentridge: Five Themes is exhibited exclusively in Australia in Gallery 1 at ACMI from Thursday 8 March until Sunday 27 May, 2012. Tickets for the exhibition are on sale now via

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Competition Winner: Paraphernalia by Bridget O'Halloran

We would like to announce that the winner of our Christmas Competition is Bridget O'Halloran with her short film Paraphernalia. We were all totally amazed at Bridget's effort so well done! We look forward to seeing more stop motions from her in the Future. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Inspiration: New Gotye Music Video Clip - Somebody That I Used to Know

Most of you have probably already heard or seen this new music video clip for Gotye 'Somebody That I Used to Know featuring Kimbra but I had to share it again anyway! Animated using Stop-motion, it is directed, produced and edited by Natasha Pincus with body art by Emma Hack - beautiful idea.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I was so sad to read in the paper today that Sarah Watt passed away. She was an amazing Australian film maker and animator and I had only just finished reading her interview in the book 'The Divided Heart' by Rachel Powers which was so inspiring for artist mothers. 

Such a tragedy.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Call for Entries: Christmas Competition


I have been thinking on this for a long time and have finally decided to have our first stop-motion animation competition for all our readers as a thanks for all your support and also to have a bit of fun! The idea will be for entrants to create a stop-motion animation up to a minute based on the theme "Hearts Desire" which can be interpreted anyway you like. The winners will be judged by our guest judges (yet to be announced).  Malcolm Turner and Helen Gibbins of the Melbourne International Animation Festival (which I am so excited about!). We recently interviewed Malcolm about the MIAF festival this year here if you want to check it out.

Malcolm and Helen have kindly offered ONE free Festival Pass to MIAF 2012 to go into our prize pool. This prize will unfortunately only be open to Australian residents (unless you can let me know if you want to fly over for it!) but all our other prizes will be open to international entries.

First prize will be a copy of  a great book called Basics Animation 04 - Stop-motion by Barry Purves (below). and there will also be some runner up prizes to be announced at a later date.

Part of the runner up prizes will be a copy of Mad Monser Party (1968) a Halloween themed children's film created by the Rankin/Bass animation house and written by Mad magazine's creator Harvey Kurtzman (with Len Korobin). 

I found out about Mad Monster Party through this article at Dangerous Minds which also has a great little clip from the film to watch.

Also a copy of the DVD Lotte Reiniger's Fairy Tales whom I discovered through our interview with Isobel Knowles. Lotte Reiniger was an amazing papercut artist/animator from Germany starting her work around 1922. Click here to watch a sample of her work from the film Papageno from 1935

There will be more details to come but here is a basic guideline for entries are:
  • The competition will be open to all our subscribers through the blog and Facebook and is for people of all skill levels.
  • Entries Close  Sunday 11th December 2011.
  • If you are interested in entering please make a comment in the post below or on our facebook page to sign up.
  • Your stop-motion animation can be made from anything - paper, textiles, plasticine, photographs, everyday objects etc - use your imagination.
  • Your animation can be anywhere up to 1 minute as long as you address the theme 'Hearts Desire'
  • Entries should be emailed to and should include a link to your video (through youtube, vimeo or whoever else you might use) and a short description on how you have addressed the theme 'Hearts Desire'.
  • All entries will be screened on The Creative Haven blog and facebook page for people to see, the top entries will be judged by our Malcolm Turner and Helen Gibbins who will accordingly choose 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.
  • There are a variety of stop-motion softwares you can trial such as Dragon Stopmotion,  Stopmotion Pro, Stop Motion Maker or any other editing software like Premier Pro.

The idea is to have fun doing it, sharing it and hopefully win a great Christmas present in the process! So sign up now!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Screening: It's a Jungle In Here - Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine

(Image Source: Melbourne Festival)
Thankfully, here is another great animation event in Melbourne that I won't miss (especially after being away for the Shaun Tan talk, Adam Elliot talk and the Peter and the Wolf Screening!)

We recently interviewed the amazingly creative Isobel Knowles here about her work. She had mentioned in the interview a new collaboration with Van Sowerwine (another amazing animator) on the animation It's a Jungle in Here. The animation will start screening this week as part of the Melbourne Festival at Screen Space  and run from the 14th to the 29th October - so if your in town get along to check it out if you can!

Here are some details about the work from the Melbourne Festival website:


How would you react if someone started behaving inappropriately, or aggressively? Do you try to pretend it isn't happening, or protest and take action?
This is the question posed by It's a jungle in here, an interactive installation artwork that inserts two people into a simulated environment and has them both create and respond to a series of increasingly unsettling encounters.
As the participants find themselves forced into the role of attacker and victim, a live feed of each participant's face is mapped onto the animated characters, channelling the tensions brought forth as the social compact begins to collapse.
Part psychodrama, part multimedia marvel, It's a jungle in here is a confronting tour of the fragile rules that organise our public lives.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Event: Desert Island Flicks - Shaun Tan

(Image Source: provided by ACMI)
Although this isn't stop-motion related - it is Australian and awesome so had to pass on the news from Australian Centre for the Moving Image.   So much great stuff happening at the moment! Details from ACMI below:

Desert Island Flicks October event
Castaway with Shaun Tan Unclassified 15+

Join artist, author and filmmaker Shaun Tan as he discusses his five favourite films in ACMI’s popular Desert Island Flicks event this October. Shaun grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, and currently works in Melbourne. His books, including The Rabbits, The Red Tree, Tales From Outer Suburbia and the acclaimed graphic novel The Arrival, have been widely translated and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has worked as a feature film concept artist on films such as Pixar's Wall-E, and wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning animated short The Lost Thing. In 2011, he received the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in Sweden for his body of work.

Join this Oscar-winning animator, author and illustrator as he talks through his most cherished cinematic moments. Desert Island Flicks presents a ‘who’s who’ of cinema, television, literature, sport, politics, art, science and culture, revealing their insights and personal stories into the films that moved them and why. 

Presented in ACMI’s intimate Studio 1 space each month, the event is a mix of key clips from the subject’s top 5 films in dispersed with chat, led by a host. By journeying through films in this way, the event often reveals fascinating biographical information, career influences and the philosophical insights of the guest of the moment.

Dates Tue 4 Oct 2011, 7pm
Location Studio 1
Admission Full $15 Concession $12 ACMI Member $11

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Opportunity: Lunch with Adam Elliot at Stables at Stones

(Image Source: Provided by Stables at Stones)

It must be the warm weather and the hint of spring as here is another great event to get along to for all you stop-motion animation lovers. We received the following information from Lucy at Stones of the Yarra Valley today.

Sunday, October 16

The Stables at Stones of the Yarra Valley is delighted to announce an exciting series of informal lunches featuring some Australia's most well-loved personalities. 

Our inaugural lunch in the gorgeous surrounds of The Stables on Sunday, October 16 will feature Academy-Award winning director and claymation producer, Adam Elliot. Over the course of the afternoon, Adam will have a chat about his career to date and answer a few questions to an intimate audience of just 50 guests. 

(Image Source: Provided by Stables at Stones)
Raised on an Outback shrimp farm by a retired acrobatic clown father and a hairdressing mother, Adam developed a truly unique style of storytelling through his fantastical use of the humble medium, plasticine. With such beautifully poignant, quirky films as Harvie Krumpet and Mary and Max to his name and a swag of international accolades including an Oscar, Adam has a fascinating story to tell.

Date: Sunday, 16 October, 2011
Time: 12pm – 3pm
Cost: $75 per head - three-course lunch, including an informal chat and Q&A with Adam Elliot
Bookings 03 97390 900 or email: