MA Character Animation graduate Tom Cross explores the boundaries between theatre and animation. His latest work, Unheard Voices, was funded by the Arts Council. You can visit it in the foyer of Birmingham’s Rep Theatre until 31 July 2015.
Unheard Voices responds to a season of plays at the Rep, centred around the theme of people finding their voice. With the support of the Rep’s artistic director Roxana Silbert and designer Oliver Shapley, Tom created a series of animations that are placed in an environment developed from his sketchbooks.
The installation explores challenges faced by people who can’t communicate in the way that others perceive as normal. As part of the creative process, Tom worked with a group of young autistic men and a class of children with speech impediments, sharing ideas and listening to their stories.
Whose stories get told?
Since graduating from Central Saint Martins, Tom Cross has explored a variety of different cultural and public settings for animation. He explains: “It is really important to me that I make work that is shown outside of the traditional places art is normally seen, and for it to reach a wider audience.
“Animation is a great tool for doing this and incorporating animation into an installation gives me even more possibilities to engage others in a powerful, magical and captivating way.”
With inspirations ranging from experimental theatre to naive art, Tom has a particular interest in how we use language in art and who gets their stories told. You can see more of Tom’s work on his website.
– MA Character Animation