Animation students bring war stories to life

24th February 2014

Four artists from Sheffield Hallam University's animation courses have created a series of short films that explore the First World War, as part of a new exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the War.

The Sheffield & the First World War exhibition at Weston Park will explore the impact of the devastating global conflict on the city, and its effect on the lives of those living in the region Sheffield Hallam animation graduates Zoe Genders, Ben Simpkins and James Reynolds and current student Tom Gamble worked with drama students from Springs Academy to develop short animated films that are based on letters sent to and from local soldiers fighting on the front line. Zoe's animation Silent Night recreates the moment when German and British troops stopped fighting on the front line on Christmas day to play football. Ben's animation explores the devastating physiological and physical impacts of the war through a letter sent home from the front. James' short animated film looks at the difficulty for young men fighting so far from home, and Tom's hand drawn digital animation tells the story of a heartbroken wife awaiting her husband's return, and is based on real letters from the front line. Sheffield Hallam animation lecturer Melvyn Ternan oversaw the project, which started in June last year. Melvyn said: "The animations use a range of techniques - hand-drawn, CGI, paper cut-out and mixed media - but they are all based on real correspondences from people who lived through the War. Our students worked closely with those from Springs Academy to interpret those experiences of the War into works that will hopefully engage and interest a new generation." Sheffield & the First World War will draw on the first hand experiences of Sheffield's people, both at home and on military service, and tell their stories through objects and documents from the city's collections. From poignant personal possessions, to mementoes brought back to Sheffield from the front, the exhibition will illustrate the very local and personal impact of the war to end all wars.

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