Computer Animation Arts & MASK
When Computer Animation Arts & the MASK School for Creativity and Innovation in Kenya Collaborate
In early 2016, recent graduates from Computer Animation Arts were invited to respond to the winning artworks of the MASK Prize, a creative competition for schools and young people under the age of 25 in Kenya. Each animator worked with one selected artwork and from it produced a short animation. This latest collaborative project was a unique creative exchange between young artists in Kenya and recently graduated animators in the UK.
The MASK prize aims to promote creativity and the value of the arts in the context of wider societal growth and transformation in Kenya. MASK provides young people with the unique platform to celebrate, share, and unite in their creativity.
In order to allow communication between practitioners in the two countries, the CAA/MASK blog was established. The blog facilitated creative exchanges between the original creators of the artworks and the animators working with them.
The resulting exhibition, Transformation/Mabadiliko, showcased the final animations alongside the artworks that inspired them. First exhibited at UCA Rochester's Zandra Rhodes Gallery, the Mabadiliko animations went on to be showcased at the Turner Contemporary, Margate.
Speaking of his experience working on Lamu Under Orange Skies with Fahima Munene, Computer Animation Arts graduate Steven Payne said: “As I learned more about Fahima, the artist I’d been partnered with, and her life in Lamu, the importance of schemes such as MASK became very clear to me. Creative expression and the expansive means to do so are something that we all take for granted. MASK and initiatives like it provide young people with the means to be creatively expressive and foster skills that would otherwise be neglected in their everyday lives, as well as encouraging sociability, independent thinking and cultural exploration.”
Edwin Wainaina, whose work was re-imagined by Samantha Niemczyk, said: “Working on this project opened for me the whole new reality, art became a whole new concept."
Paula Karanja: "What The Noise Gave Me was inspired by personal experience. I wanted to isolate a time that was pivotal in my decision of what I was going to do after high school graduation. What was I going to do with my life when I grew up? How was I going to start? Those were some of the questions I'd ask myself over and over again. That was the noise."
Nat Urwin: “Once I’d received the project, I asked the artists things such as how their artworks were supposed to feel like if they were brought to life, what stories they were telling, and what materials were used to create them. I had already decided on the styles of animation based on the images themselves, but the information given by the artists helped decide the content of them. These projects are very important for bringing culture and skills together, and above all they're inspiring to a wide audience, most importantly, the young artists. I know I would have had great inspiration if my drawings were brought to life by professionals when I was a kid.”
Churchill Ongere: "I like what you've done so much! The model is coming to life!"
Louis Tamlyn: "If I had to imagine this as an animation, I would see it as something quite slow, with dreamlike effects, magical ones, of things morphing into each creating new faces or landscapes."