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Artistic students at the University of Chester have been inspired by a national radio broadcast to create beautiful pieces of animation.


Second year BA Graphic Design students on the Motion Design module listened to hours of the Radio 4 programme Short Cuts before choosing a segment to inspire their animation work.

Short Cuts are short documentaries in sound presented by Josie Long which can include true stories, brief encounters and adventures in sound.

The assignment was set by Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design, Kevin Furlong. He said: “Short Cuts enables the listener to hear stories from all over the world – they are perfect for artistic briefs.

“The students listened to around three hours of episodes before picking one. Each story lasts three minutes and they created an animation for one minute.

“The results have been absolutely incredible. The group uploaded their work and shared them with the Short Cuts production team. The series producer, Eleanor McDowall from Falling Tree Productions, has been tweeting the animations and there has been a really positive reaction.”

Syeda Khatun, 19 from Birkenhead, Wirral, chose a piece called Radical Love which looked at how a family discusses political issues and the past of a grandmother who was a freedom fighter. Syeda said: “I enjoyed the Motion Design module a lot more than I originally thought I would. I learned different methods of animating and learnt to use equipment like lighting, cameras, and tripods. I also learn to use new software and develop my skills. The module was very open to your own imagination and there were no boundaries that we couldn’t cross. It was my favourite of all the modules.”

Cat Parker-Jones, 19, from North Wales, said: “My piece is called Wild and Precious and the animation shows a woman reminiscing about her gratitude for where she is now and the life she has experienced. I was inspired to choose this soundtrack as I've always been a fan of poetry especially Mary Oliver, who heavily inspired Wild and Precious and I loved how engaging and personal the soundtrack felt. I think what I enjoyed most about this module was seeing how different people approached the soundtracks and how they could bring them to life visually.”

Eleanor McDowall tweeted: “Always the best time of year when we start getting mini Sort Cuts animations from @uochester students.”

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