Sticking with the Past | Belsay Awakes

As part of the Belsay Awakes project, TICE students had the opportunity to put a creative spin on the magic and mystique behind Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens.

Belsay Awakes is a £6million project delivered over three years, aiming to transform a visitor’s experience at Belsay Castle, Hall & Gardens. For the second and last year, TICE was given an opportunity to be a part of the transformation. By doing so, we have created four Belsay-inspired creative projects for students to be involved in. Let’s take a look at what they have created.


Animation: Sticking with the Past

Mentored By: Chloe Rodham – Animation Mentor

Project Contributors: Rhian Jennings – Motion Graphic Designer and Northumbria University graduate, Andrew Bell – Freelance Animator and Newcastle College Graduate

The Brief:

Digital media gives us an exciting new toolset to use to engage visitors more with their surroundings in participatory ways. Social media allows venues to connect with their audiences when they are on-site and when they are off-site. This project focused on Instagram stickers. Instagram stickers are short looped animations which users add to their photograph posts.

Stickers can be used for a number of different purposes – they help tell the story of what you are posting or add comedy to your post. Stickers are fun, but they can also be important. They can be used to convey a message or associate with a campaign or movement. Brands and organisations can harness their potential by using bespoke stickers as a method of connecting with their audience, branding posts and adding motion to still campaigns.

Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens, at present, doesn’t have anything like this… and this is where the students came in! This project explored how students could elevate the use of the Instagram sticker from decorative to meaningful and use them to hint at the hidden heritage stories at Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens. They needed to take inspiration from the hall, castle or gardens to decide what to animate and bring to life.


Project Results:

Please view the final results of the students’ work from Durham School, Ponteland High School and Duchess’s Community High School.


What did the students think of their Belsay Awakes experience?

Please tell us why you chose this project?

“I chose this project as I’ve always been interested in digital art and animation, I wanted to improve my skills in this medium.” Karla Thibeau, Ponteland High School

“I chose Sticking with The Past (animation) because I love doodling and drawing animals and various things to do with nature. I thought it would be really fun to design something that comes to life for Belsay.” Harry Spours, The Duchess’s Community High School

What was your favourite part of the project?

“My favourite part of the project would either be the final design or actually going to Belsay. My trip gave me so many ideas and helped me a lot to plan my final design. I also learned a lot about Belsay hall itself and went to see the house, castle and gardens. Creating my final design was very challenging and although the end product is not what I would have wanted I am still proud of it and what I have achieved. :)” Harry Spours, The Duchess’s Community High School

Was there anyone or anything that inspired you on this project?

Belsay hall itself was heavily my inspiration, but other artists such as Hattie Stewart and her doodles stood out to me, and I liked the simple but silly style of her doodles. I also looked at various nature stickers already on Instagram.” Harry Spours, The Duchess’s Community High School

Belsay Gardens was definitely a big inspiration for me throughout this project” Karla Thibeau, Ponteland High School

What do you feel you have personally achieved in completing this project?

“This is actually the first animation I’ve ever made, and I’m really happy about it :)” Harry Spours, The Duchess’s Community High School.

What do you think you will take away from doing this project?

“I’ve learnt a lot more about animation and the programs that I used, I’ve also learnt some of the skills of working with deadlines in the art industry” Karla Thibeau, Ponteland High School

What would you say to any young person thinking about doing a TICE project?

It is an amazing experience where you could learn and have fun at the same time.” Pardeep Liddar, Durham School


And finally…

Thank you and well done, not only to the students but to the teachers and staff at Cardinal Hume Catholic School, Boldon School, Ponteland High School, Duchess’s Community High School, Durham School and Consett Academy. A big thank you to Melanie Hills and Helen Klemm and the team at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, English Heritage and the companies that have supported and contributed to this project and to the TICE team that plugged away at the project week after week.

To the students – we hope you have enjoyed this project, we hope in years to come that you can proudly present an industry written project you did and quite frankly smashed. Well done and congratulations from everyone here at TICE.

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