This week I chatted with London-based artist Emma Allen to find out more about her most recent work. Emma created a self portrait video titled, “Ruby,” that explores the idea of life, death and rebirth. It was the exploration of reincarnation that caught my eye, and after talking with Emma the animated short turns out to be a personal dedication to someone who inspired her as well.
What inspired your latest animated short,”Ruby”?
Your arts charity sounds great can you tell us more about it?
It’s a project that runs arts and activity sessions for disadvantaged kids in Sri Lanka. The idea is play and creativity for aid.
It started in 2005 after the Asian tsunami. I went out to Sri Lanka and started doing face painting and art workshops in the refugee camps and children’s homes. Other volunteers soon joined in and we would run regular sessions with the kids making stuff, colouring shapes and images. Some of these were then made into greeting cards, which were sold locally and online in order raise funds to support the kids.
Actually, Alex Try who did the post production on ‘Ruby’. I met him while working in the refugee camps in 2005. He was then on an internship with a film company, but would come and do music and juggling with the kids at the sessions when he was free.
So the card project proved popular and good source of fund raising. We continued it year after year. Over the years the money raised has gone to provide food, clothing, school equipment, outings, beds, electricity, we built a play ground and also funds more art and creative sessions.
Last year, I launched a mosaic project with one of the childrens homes, using waste materials tiles, mirror, glass etc to turn into mosaic art works. I’m looking forward to heading back there in december and planning a project there for the new year.