I have recently finished the edit for my most recent documentary covering the pilot year of The Devon Carousel Project, a family led collaborative, community and environmental studies initiative working with children under 5 and their families. This marks the accumulation of a year of work that I have done for the organisation not only as an evaluative filmmaker, but also as a workshop artist. Have a look at the documentary below to see the variety of artistic and educational things that they do within the community.
I never thought I would have the opportunity to work with the early years community. Previously, I was always under the impression that filmmaking and animation would be too technical for children so young. Thanks to this project, however, I have been given the space and time to develop models alongside my collaborative partner Stuart (RA Projects) for working with this specific age group. Altogether, it has been inspiring working in this setting. I am surprised by just how capable early years children are when working in animation and film. There seems to be an inherent ability to comprehend the process and even if they don’t understand it at first, they pick it up very quickly. I think, largely, the trick for Stuart and I has been to keep the framework for our workshops very broad in order to accommodate for the varying ability levels of children under 5 and to combine this approach with a clear aesthetic objective so that parents can collaborate and even lead alongside us. Excitingly, it seems that this has been the approach that the whole Carousel Project has taken and as a result, we have had the opportunity to work with many other artists in disciplines such as printmaking, visual art, dance and storytelling to create truly hybrid pieces of work with the local Exeter community. Have a look at some of the work below.
There are many more things that I could say about the project, so to save you an incredibly long read here, it’s probably best to direct you our early years animation blog which we have used to chart and evaluate our process over the past year. Stuart has continued with the project while I have moved town, but I hope to return to it if carousel gains more momentum and the opportunity arises. Speaking of which, If you would like to support The Devon Carousel Project and all of the fantastic work that they do, please head over to their Local Giving site and consider donating. It’s more than a worthy cause.