Roobarb Family Fun at Surrey History Centre

Roobarb and Custard are featuring in a  family history display at the Surrey History Centre from August 4th, complete with family activities such as create your own masks.

Roobarb was originally created in 1974 by Grange Calveley, based on his own dog, produced by Bob Godfrey Films. Roobarb also featured in ‘I Love 1974’. I Love 1974 was an episode from the BBC produced series ‘I Love the Seventies’, which was broadcast in 2000. The series took a nostalgic trip back to the decade of the seventies, exploring the main cultural and commercial products of the time.

A new series consisting of 39 episodes was written and broadcast on Channel Five in 2005, also written by Grange Calveley and narrated by Richard Briers. However, this series was produced by Adam Sharp and Bernadette O’Riordan for A&Btv, and directed by Jason Tammemagi.

For further information on records see our catalogue

You can also see some of our educational packs for schools based on Roobarb here

Roobarb and Custard poster

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Well behaved women seldom make history…

March is Women’s History Month and UCA’s archives & Special collections are shining a spotlight on female contribution, and female struggles towards and within the arts.

Looking at the themes of ‘well behaved women seldom make history’ and ‘for most of history anonymous was a woman’ we will be tweeting our images through #UCAWHM (University for the Creative Arts, Women’s History Month). Also look out for #photography #womenshealth #womensfashion among others. Access our twitter @uca_ae

We will also be undertaking a talk and hands on session with our archives – ‘men act, women appear’. Book for this event here

Also take  a look out for our pop up event in Farnham Library of Great Women in History!

We will be putting the spot lights on our institutional archives dating from 1889, tracing numbers of female students attending, ‘female’ courses, biographies of female students and teachers. How did females fare within art education from 19th century onwards? Who were the key female pioneers of UCA? What about the ‘nameless’ women, or anon?

'i'm pitting myself against the men and i'll win' - Gail Wilson, only photography student in the year

‘i’m pitting myself against the men and i’ll win’ – Gail Wilson, only photography student in the year

Our collections also will look at key females, such as photographer Jo Spence, who did photography work from the 1970s related to her own breast cancer, Tessa Boffin, who did LGBT photography work from the 1980s, also looking at gender identity, masculinity, femininity, perceptions of rape. We see who she is inspired by. We also take a look at her links with organisations such as Feminists against censorship.

The Working Press, books by and about working class artists, questions what it means to be working class, and questions what it may mean to be a working class female.

Our animation archives highlight portrayal of women in animation, including portrayal of female politicians, such as Margaret Thatcher, in Margaret Thatcher, Where am I Now?, 1999 and our royal family, such as Queen Victoria in Great, the Lives and Times of Isambaard Brunel, 1975

Email archives@ucreative.ac.uk to access us, and be inspired by our extraordinary women!

Rebekah Taylor,

Archivist & Special Collections Officer

“What a terrible mess. Kevin, what have you been doing?”

Cataloguing Kevin Saves the World

We are continuously working behind the scenes and making additions to the UCA Archives and Special Collections catalogue. The catalogue was recently updated online to include the newly catalogued series Kevin Saves the World, a children’s animated series based on a book of the same name by author Daniel Postgate. One of the larger series of the Bob Godfrey Archive, Kevin Saves the World comprises some 38 boxes of animation material, including correspondence, pencil drawings, acetate cels, dope sheets, sound recordings, scripts, and storyboards to name a few!

Material from Kevin and the Genie

Material from Kevin and the Genie

An initial delve into the boxes suggested that there were five animated shorts that formed the series: Kevin Saves the World, Kevin and the Computer Game, Kevin and the Big Lizard, Kevin and the Genie, and Kevin and the Bogeyman. There was pre-production and production material for these episodes. The scripts and storyboards provided information on the content of each episode, and some title scenes revealed the credits of the animations. Interestingly, the titles were in both English and Norwegian. These revealed that the series was produced by Bob Godfrey Films and Kine Aune and supported by the Norwegian Film Institute and the Nordisk Film & T.V. Fund.

Progress was being made. The key individuals and organisations behind the series and the synopsis of each episode were now known. However, there was still little contextual information about the series. When the last couple of boxes of material were sorted through, things got a little more complicated. There was evidence of other episodes previously unknown about – Kevin’s Christmas Treat, Kevin and the Recipe Book, and Kevin and the Ghosts. Not long after this discovery, an entire box full of correspondence and scripts was discovered. Sifting through this material created a more complete picture of the production of the series.

Just a small selection from the Kevin Saves the World scripts

Just a small selection from the Kevin Saves the World scripts

In total 14 episodes were found to have pre-production material (scripts and storyboards). There was partial production material for 2 of the episodes, and full production material for 5 of the episodes. The correspondence records revealed that a longer series of around 12-13 episodes was originally planned. However, it proved difficult to find broadcasters who were willing to broadcast animated shorts of only 5 minutes. The series also faced funding difficulties, which explains the halt in production and the presence of only pre-production material for a majority of the episodes. The first five episodes were broadcast in Norway, where some of the available funding had been sourced.

Using the information gathered, the series catalogue structure fell into place. A ‘series’ record was created for Kevin Saves the World. Each individual episode was then arranged underneath this with its own ‘sub-series’ record. Under these records, the material was arranged into pre-production and production material, where it existed. Correspondence had its own ‘sub-series’ record, as the material covered the contents of multiple episodes and was relevant to the series as a whole. Correspondence was then arranged into different ‘files’ according to their original order. Find out more about the structure of the catalogue by viewing this presentation.

Kevin Saves the World Catalogue Screenshot

Kevin Saves the World Catalogue Screenshot

After arranging a structure, further contextual information is added to the records in the form of authority files. Relevant names of people and organisations involved with the series are created in the authorities database and linked to the records, so that names may be cross-searched by users. Subject terms are also applied to identify key themes and subjects within the material.

Kevin Saves the World Authority Names Screenshot

Kevin Saves the World Authority Names Screenshot

The Kevin Saves the World series is now available to view on the UCA Archives and Special Collections Online Catalogue.

Kevin Saves the World images copyright Bob Godfrey and Daniel Postgate. All images are for educational purposes only.

Hannah Ratford, Archive Cataloguer

Explore your Archive Pop Up Events – UCA Farnham Library

Explore your Archive! Discover our hidden original artistic treasures at our archive pop up events!

This term Archives and Special Collections will be hosting a series of ‘Pop-Up’ Events in the Farnham Campus Library between 13:00 and 14:00 on various dates as listed below. We will be demonstrating original archival material from the Bob Godfrey Animation Archive and focusing on different themes with each event.

Programme of Explore your archive pop up events

Join us to delve through a range of exciting material and to find out more about the archive and the services we provide.

Look out for our Explore Your Archive badges and pencils!

To find out more email archives@ucreative.ac.uk

Santa Who? Representations of Santa in the Archives

Santa Who? Christmas Pop-Up Event

In the spirit of Christmas, we decided to host our latest Explore your Archives pop-up event around the theme of the man in the red suit. Items displayed in the Christmas Pop-Up Event included material from animations such as The Christmas Dinner and The Mystery of the Missing Santa (both from the Henry’s Cat series) and Kevin’s Christmas Treat (from the Kevin Saves the World Series). The items demonstrate individual takes on the representation of Santa. The pop-up event explored questions such as “where does his reputation stem from?” and “how has his representation in popular culture developed over time?”

Christmas Pop-Up Display

Christmas Pop-Up Display

There are different suggestions for the origins of this holiday figure. Records date back to describe figures such as the Norse God Odin, Father Christmas and Saint Nicholas, with each displaying different characteristics now attributed to the modern day character – generosity, benevolence, kindness and good cheer.

As well as the name, the physical representations of Santa have developed over the years. In modern day the character is recognisable as a slightly plump older gentleman with a white beard, red suit and black boots. A common misconception is that this image derives from Coca-Cola. Instead, from the 1920s the company popularised a character design that was already imbedded in popular culture. The man in the red suit was a representation of Saint Nicholas by Thomas Nast, a respected painter who drew 33 Christmas drawings for Harper’s Weekly between 1863 and 1886.

Thomas Nast came to find inspiration from the poem by Clement Clarke Moore’s A Visit from Saint Nicholas, commonly known as The Night before Christmas, and depicted a jolly Santa in a red suit who gave gifts to children. In 1931 Coca-Cola commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to develop a new Santa image for their advertisements. He produced new images every year through to 1964.

Sketch of Santa, Kevin’s Christmas Treat

The animation material held at UCA develops upon this traditional image, with artists demonstrating their individual takes on Santa. Although commonly depicted with the red suit and black boots, we see varying representations of Santa:

Henry’s Cat, The Christmas Dinner: Henry’s cat and his friends end up getting stuck together. Santa arrives in his sleigh, hears their dilemma and rescues them by coming down the chimney. Here we have a kind Santa who is willing to help those in need. He maintains traditional representations by arriving on a sleigh and travelling down the chimney.

Henry’s Cat, The Mystery of the Missing Santa: It is up to Henry’s cat and his friends to rescue the kidnapped Santa. This time Santa is vulnerable and needs help. The kidnapper threatens to cut the bobble off of Santa’s hat, a key icon of modern day Santa’s image.

Kevin’s Christmas Treat: Initial sketches demonstrate Santa as an unattractive character – he is shown shouting into a megaphone with large pointy teeth. In the storyboards we are presented with a mechanical Santa, the episode demonstrating the modern day commercialised side of Christmas.

Sketch of Santa, Kevin's Christmas Treat

Sketch of Santa, Kevin’s Christmas Treat

As well as archival material, we also made use of material found on the library shelves. An old-fashioned Christmas in illustration and decoration, C. Hornung, (New York: Dover Publications; London: Constable, 1970) contains black and white images portraying Christmas scenes.  Christmas: Vintage Holiday Graphics, ed. Jim Heinmann (Koln;London: Taschen, c.2005) pays homage to St Nick via vintage graphic and print media. The pages are full of colourful Christmas images, with one showing a Hawaiian scene with Santa and his reindeer sipping on cocktails! These sources complemented our theme on the representation of Santa.

Volunteer Altaira with the Christmas Pop-Up Display

Volunteer Altaira with the Christmas Pop-Up Display

Look out for the Kevin saves the World series, soon to be included in the UCA Archives and Special Collections online catalogue. An entry for Henry’s Cat can be found here: Henry’s Cat

Kevin’s Christmas Treat Images copyright Bob Godfrey and Daniel Postgate. All images are for educational purposes only.

Hannah Ratford, Archive Cataloguer

Videos on Understanding and Researching Archives Released

Videos and transcripts on understanding and researching archives have been released, as part of a series for researchers to understand how to approach archives and special collections. Issues with approaching archives, include that the word archive has many different definitions  to different people, and the structure of an archive catalogue, as opposed to a library catalogue may be hard to understand and search.

The webpage can be found here

The videos so far look at ‘What is an Archive’ and an archive catalogue structure – why can’t an archive be catalogued on a library catalogue?

 

 

Survey: Artists using Animation Archives

This survey is for looking at how artists, and researchers, use archives, specifically animation archives , and how archives can make themselves more accessible and useable by artists, and researchers.

Please find the Survey here

If this research is publicised, we will anonymise individual names. Organisations will be listed in acknowledgements/participants, but will not be linked directly to the survey results

 Bob Godfrey logo 001resizeCelebrity in the style of Bob Godfrey

Daniel Greaves’ Flatworld: ‘It May Be Flat, but it sure isn’t boring’ (Telegraph 1997)

This weeks post shines the spotlight on Animator Daniel Greaves, Director of Flatworld, which follows flat cardboard and paper cut outs set in a 3D world called ‘Flatworld’

UCA hold storyboards, scripts, and artwork, including cardboard and photocopied cut outs of characters within flatworld

Flatworld follows Matt Phlatt, along with his pet cat Geoff and his fish Chips, where a freak electrical accident releases a 30’s gangster from his TV film into Matt’s world and causes chaos as Matt is mistaken for the criminal after a bank robbery.

flatworld

A telegraph article on Daniel Greaves and flatworld is available here (23rd December 1997)

‘More than half the film is what Greaves describes as “two-and- a-half dimensional”. To achieve this, he used traditional stop-frame animation to move cardboard figures in a three-dimensional setting. It was a painstaking process. First, drawings of the characters were animated with 12 different images shot per second to check fluidity of movement. Then, every drawing was photocopied, pasted on to card, coloured and carefully cut out. Each card image was weighted at its base so it would stand upright. These images were then animated, with 12 different card drawings of the same character shot per second. All in all, the film used 40,000 different cardboard cut-outs. Filming the “Flipside” sequence was a piece of cake by comparison, involving traditional Disney techniques.’

Watch the animation here

‘From 1977 until 1980 [Daniel] studied animation at West Surrey College of Art. After graduating Daniel worked as a freelance animator at many London studios before founding Tandem Films with his business partner Nigel Pay in 1986. Daniel is Animation Director at Tandem Films. His short films have won over a hundred international film awards, including an Oscar for his film Manipulation. Other films include Family Tree, Flatworld, Rockin’ & Rollin’, Little Things, Beginning, Middle and End and Speechless. He is currently working on a stop-motion, Claymation film entitled Mr Plastimime’ Quoted from  http://www.tandemfilms.com/director/director-showreel-daniel-greaves/

Animation Archive Day | artistic responses: Exhibition Press Release

Animation Archive Day | artistic responses
Exhibition at UCA, Rochester
Ground floor + stairs to the Library
Celebrity in the style of Bob Godfrey

“This exhibition encapsulates students’ experiences and artistic responses to work with The Bob Godfrey Collection. It is formed of a selection of celebrity portraits, realised in the style of Godfrey’s animation. Each portrait includes a QR code, linking directly to the artist’s blog.

 

The Bob Godfrey Collection comprises of works and ephemera from one of Britain’s animation greats. Godfrey (1921 – 2013) was the first British Oscar-winning animator for his 1975 short animated film Great. Animation Archive Day took place on 6th December 2013 and was focused around one of Godfrey’s best known works Henry’s Cat.

 

Through collaboration between the Archivist, Learning & Teaching Librarian and Course Leader, CG Arts & Animation students were able to look through the original materials from the programme and explore the cel drawn animation method. The resulting exhibition recognises the importance of allowing students to steer and interact creatively with archive use in a library context.”

See the CG Arts UCA Rochester blog here http://ucarochester-cgartsandanimation.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/animation-archive-day-your-bob-godfrey.html

 

Learning and Teaching Librarian, Adele, and Archivist, Rebekah setting up the exhibition

Learning and Teaching Librarian, Adele, and Archivist, Rebekah setting up the exhibition

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