The multi-talented filmmaker, musician, artists and director Zahed Sultan invited me to create the stage set projections for this show at The Albany Theatre, Deptford after I spotted a post on social media looking for my skills. The Haramacy residency program and multi arts festival was held on the 27th April 2019. The program brought together 11 artists from Middle Eastern and South Asian communities in London for a 4-day residency to collaborate and create works that would be performed on the fifth day. I designed and fabricated the triangular screens using a mixture of rear and front projection materials. I worked with the artists to create content for the triangular screens and use the design successfully.
In 2015 I was sacked from a job, dumped by my girlfriend and also given notice to leave where I was living, all within a week. Pretty bleak. I decided to turn all of that negativity into something positive, distracting and useful!
I wanted to realise a long held dream of organising an audiovisual festival. Initial plans were conconcted and emails went out to the people whom I wanted to help make it a reality. After a year of hard work and commitment from a small team of directors with huge contributions from the community of artists and volunteers Splice Festival was first staged from the 3rd to the 5th June 2016: http://2016.splicefestival.com/
I was employed by Suffolk Connexions (Youth Service) to deliver animation workshops and to document the residency that they had organised for a large group of young people from across four counties of South East England. It was part of a scheme called Positive Activities for Young People. The group of young people were not attending mainstream education or training (N.E.A.T). We were accommodated at Crystal Palace sports centre where a range of workshops including performance, animation and music were combined with a huge range of physical and team building activities over four days. The aim of the residency was to devise the perfect curriculum and to gather information and feedback which would be delivered direct to the national youth service leadership via the various productions from the workshops. We created an animation with a mixture of collage and hand drawn stop frame animation expressing some of the challenges and joys of being a young person. We chose to set it to music by one of my favourite HipHop artists of the time Ty’s ‘Wait a minute’.
One of the greatest friends I met at university is Sam Daniel, once upon a time Sam had an idea….
Sam’s birthday falls between Christmas and New Years eve so for once he wanted to have a big party. 27th Dec 2005 and the idea comes together, a crew of us head down from Sheffield to meet up with Sam and his friends at a basement venue close to the end of Oxford st.
What followed is legendary amongst the friends who were there…and became a labour of love for a small group of us for the next few years. We created events at a huge range of pubs, clubs and venues around London and in Sheffield. We really should have a standalone website and archive!
SHINE stands for ‘Self Help’ ‘Independence’ ‘Nutrition’ and ‘Exercise’. It is a great programme focussing on these very important and interlinked areas. Kath Sharman a child and adolescent therapist and the founder of SHINE contacted me to work with her group of young people to create an educational video which would create a focus for discussion amongst professionals with an interest in the prevention and management of childhood obesity.
I worked with the group over the period of a year, developing and producing the ideas alongside them and recording their activities and progress. The young people helped with all aspects of the production and hopefully picked up some video production skills and confidence along the way.
The DVD we created was screened to all of Sheffield’s youth groups in a special cinema night at a local multiplex and distributed to Members of Parliament when Kath was invited to make a presentation in Westminster.
Sharrow Festival asked me to provide a children’s workshop. This was the first VJ workshop that I was to lead. It was held at Highfield Children’s Library in the heart of Sharrow. It was also my largest projection to date, we covered the large arched window with rear projection fabric and projected for two nights over the festival weekend. We hired a big projector from Lumen in Leeds as there were none available in Sheffield at the time.
The young people created some colourful hand drawn stop frame animations and then learned how to mix and layer them with other clips and control them with a midi keyboard in the VJ software Neuromixer. They also got hands on with digital photo and video cameras.
Some of my favourite feedback came from the Library manager whom was awoken by a call from the local police after they had received reports of a ‘rave’ in the library after midnight due to the projection! Luckily he was able to see the funny side.
The Musical Works a Sheffield based music training provider contracted my studio partner Anthony Ashton and I to document a brilliant two days of dance, music and media production workshops which culminated in a performance. It was held at the now long demolished Nelson Mandela Student Union Building.
We had a great time immersing ourselves in the activities for two days and the resulting video which I edited was used as a promotional tool.