man tweezering nose hair, from the  Bathroom Cabinet of Dr Calamari
After an insanely long time, "The Bathroom Cabinet of Doctor Calamari" is finally completed.  A collaboration with Paul (voice of the shed) Baldwin, this short animation is about- amongst other things - nostril hair, bathroom plumbing and existentialist dread. Visually realistic but simultaneously surreal, it started as a coffee conversation, and a title, related to a silly story about plughole monsters that Paul used to tell his kids. This was a lively process of co-writing, and real collaboration (necessitating strict storyboarding). Paul composed and edited all the soundtrack; the limited voice-overs we needed were complicated by the fact that one had to be a child (and our fist choice child's voice broke before we had finished!) Great fun and the conversations generated many images and comic ideas...but ultimately a bit cumbersome and slow...I prefer working on my own and then letting someone add their music/interpretation afterwards!



still from "Growing" with caption:must be less literal
2014 gave me time for 8 new animations...and film 4 was "Growing" - a film about rewilding and inspired by the festival/ conference I attended - with Miki Z in Scotland "Carrying the Fire" .

I was hoping the Dark Mountain project- who run the festival - would be interested in the finished film, but apparently it was too literal. I've since changed the ending to make it more surreal... and shown it at the solar-powered sol cinema at the Festival of Thrift, Darlington. The characters here were quite realistic (in a way), but as the film was NOT in black/white it was interesting to think about race/ colour and how we do or don't use it in animation. Race is mostly irrelevant in the stories I'm animating, (this one for example is about life in built-up cities and our relationship with nature...which might have startling differences in different cultures, but globally, this is a very simple story)...but gender is often crucial... I also discovered I really prefer animating women, or characters who are quite over-the-top and abstracted.