Earlier this month, our professional artist Chloe Cooper – who has exhibited at the ICA and Tate Modern – worked with 10 young carers from Winchester & District Young Carers to produce a collection of short animated films. Through sharing imaginative ideas, they pieced together their own 2D worlds to put in motion, igniting their creative thinking and forging friendships along the way. art:space was delivered in partnership with Whiteley Shopping Centre thanks to funding from British Land.
During a series of workshops, Chloe guided the group through the essentials of stop-motion animation, introducing the motif of ‘Who I Am’ as a thematic seed from which the young carers’ ideas could bloom. Taking creative control, the young people crafted characters and storyboards inspired by their personal interests, overdubbing voiceovers and audio effects to add further dynamism to the pieces. Photographing their scenes frame-by-frame, their stories came to life, with the sessions producing inspired (and somewhat surreal!) creations. With the young carers’ imaginations free to roam, we stepped into worlds where talking pizzas narrowly escape the tyranny of a ‘Zebra of Doom’, and transportational vortexes lure festival-goers into entrapping video game-worlds. Embracing the group’s sense of humour and gift for the fantastical filled the sessions with positivity, making for three fun-filled days of creativity during the Easter holidays.
75% of carers struggle to maintain relationships with family and friends due to the stress their caring roles can entail. Our art:space programme provides young carers with a chance to balance their caring responsibilities with time to pursue their own creative interests, enabling them to build new skills and supportive relationships. Young carer, Laurence commented on the workshops: “I was able to put my creativity to the test and to create a great animation! I have never done animation before but I have certainly developed new skills. I felt that my thoughts and opinions were listened to”.
Watch the young carers’ animated shorts below: