Oscar-nominated expert to give lecture

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AN Oscar and Bafta-nominated animator is hoping to inspire a new generation of artists on Wearside.

Barry Purves, who has worked in television, movies and theatre, will teach students at the University of Sunderland on Monday.

Driven by a huge passion for the art of film-making, he has been involved in major Hollywood blockbusters, from King Kong to Mars Attacks, and TV series including The Wind in the Willows, Rupert Bear and Postman Pat.

His own films have won more than 60 awards around the world and he uses his experience and expertise to teach aspiring animators and performers.

Now, as the buzz around Oscar season gets under way this month, the university is experiencing its own Tinseltown excitement as students sign up for Barry’s inspirational masterclass at the Media Centre Cinema, Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s.

Shirley Wheeler, head of design and Ros Allen, programme leader for animation and design, said: “We are delighted to welcome Barry on campus I’m sure our animation students will be thrilled to meet and see Barry’s fantastic work.”

As well as his films, Barry has directed and animated some 70 commercials, title sequences and animation inserts for films and pop promos.

He has also published books on animation, has been featured in documentaries and articles for magazines, books and the internet, and is a regular jury member and advisor at festivals.

After an early career in stage management and acting, working in many theatres around the UK, he directed and designed for The Garrick Theatre in Altrincham, Manchester, the Edinburgh Festival and other venues.

Barry said he is looking forward to his visit and plans to divide his talk into two halves.

“During the first part I will talk about what I believe animation is and how it fits in with all the other arts, such as opera, ballet, theatre, film and such,” he said. “Like those arts, animation is a celebration of artifice, not a reproduction of real life.

“I always encourage students to try and liberate themselves in using all the elements that tell a story, such as colour, composition, music, editing, design and movement.

“In the second half I will try to illustrate, through my own work, why I still keep trying to make films.

“I will be showing my two latest films.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho