‘The Red Balloon’
For this season, I have been working on a collaged animation piece, based on an excerpt from a story written by a close friend of mine, Beck Tait. The story is called ‘The Red Balloon’ and the underlying theme is that of growing up and letting go of your childhood. The main character of the story - the young girl - has spent her whole life holding on to the balloon but she now has to let it go – this symbolizes the often difficult transition from childhood to adulthood. The story was inspired by ‘The Red Riding Hood ‘and ‘The Red Shoes’.
With Vicki Bennett’s practice and the general theme of ‘Montage’ as a stimulus, I decided to incorporate mixed media techniques such as paper cut-outs and animations. Chloe Rodham, a Newcastle based animator and a participating artist this season, helped my project a lot by teaching me the basics of animation and After Effects. To create the props, I used a combination of photography and drawings / cut-outs. I designed and made a model tree which was used as a basis for the forest scene. The design of the main character is a combination of a found image of a young girl and parts of my face and body - eyes, mouth and hand. I also added an eerie ‘music box’ melody to create a slightly sinister effect and link it further to the theme of childhood.
My animation is short but I'm pleased with the outcome as it allowed me to be creative, experiment with new techniques and learn a lot through the process.
Alexa was born in Cambridge in 1996 but grew up in a small rural village in the hills of Northumberland since the age of 3. She goes to school in Morpeth and is in her final year. Her ambition is to become a set designer and prop-maker. She enjoys photography, making short experimental films and generally being creative. At the moment she is making a huge 3D crescent moon to be used in a set design project.
Her favourite artists are Tim Walker for his magical, surreal and bonkers photography and Quentin Jones for her unique and quirky stop-motion animations and collaged overlays. Alexa is a big fan of all things creative and tries to make something different every day. She has been a member of the Factory since the summer of 2012.
Have a look at her work here: