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the chateau children’s book – illustration and design


During the first lockdown of 2020, apart from everything else my partner Sophie Baker and I worked with Angel Strawbridge to produce a personalised children’s book called Adverntures at the Chateau.

As ever we worked closely with Angel on all aspects of the design before painting up all 36 pages by hand in watercolour.

Arthur and Dorothy enjoying the book at the Chateau.

The book is personalisable and with 12 possible character choices each page needed to be carefully designed to allow for the many variations to work seemlessly during the ordering process.

The result is a very beautiful book full of original artwork that we are very proud of, not least because we managed to pul it off despite the many Covid related difficulties that came up.

If you would like to see more or order the book for a child you know please follow this link:

Here is a little mention of the book in Hello magazine.

Tunng – Scared to Death

Here is the second of 2 videos I made in 2020 for the band Tunng. Another lockdown collaboration using my own stream of consciousness inspired footage and stock from the Tunng vaults to create a strange dreamy collage with added dancing stick man characters for good measure whose movements are based on my own dancing in a very strange motion capture suit of my own design that will never see the light of day!

Tunng – A Million Colours

Here we have one of 2 videos I made in 2020 for the band Tunng. A lockdown collaboration that includes some of the album artwork by the talented Lilias Buchanan. Also featuring the science of chromatography. The video is dealing with some heavy issues in a light way and I tried to do the same with the visuals. Using the chromatography was a way of alluding to death via forensic medicine hence a beautiful by product of a more serious endeavour.

Battersea Arts Centre – Fire Exit animation

Working with Will Adamsdale (director), Chris Branch (sound) and Michele Panagrossi (maker).

This animation was the response to a brief called ‘creativity’ from a commission by BAC as part of their Heritage Lottery funded installations.

The end result was an interactive display that at first glance looks just like any other fire escape sign, except that once you press the buttton to activate it, it comes alive.

The animation appears to interact with the space including pulling up a real world curtain during the show annd activating physical lights.

I acheived the animation through a crude motion capture technique including pingpong balls and AfterEffects.

Eindhoven performance – Live drawing and animation


Here are some images from a collaborative project with Uninvited Guests, Michele Panegrossi and Duncan Speakman at STRP festival in Eindhoven.

For the first part of the performance, we showed animate drawings I had done overlaid on realtime video of the spaces the actors were describing, so that the visions of the future appeared as they were being described and the audience could move their devices around to take in the whole view.

The live drawings came at the end of the AR tour through the past and future of this ever-changing area of Eindhoven. After seeing and hearing utopian and dystopian visions the audience were asked to imagine the future for themselves whilst I covertly overheard their conversations. I would then draw (very quickly) a rough sketch of the things they were describing which would then appear again on their devices so they could look around it as it appeared in the space in front of them.

The Chateau Book Design and Illustration

In 2018 I was working with Dick & Angel at Chateau de la Motte Husson from the Channel 4 series Escape to the Chateau again, this time on a book showing the wonderful work they have done from the point of buying the chateau to their wedding day.

I worked closely with Angel on the book layout and design, put it together in InDesign, whilst creating all illustrated artwork alongside photographs they supplied.

The work include designing a foil for the gold embossed cover which you can see in the gallery below.

Please go to to order the book.

Ivo Neame Quartet: Vegetarians

Here is a video I did for the Ivo Neame Quartet. The track is called Vegetarians and is available on the Album Moksha.

The underlying film was shot and edited by Daniel Redding and I added the veg.

It is a mixture of Cinema 4d and After Effects work. A lot of masking and tracking. I created virtual spaces in C4D which I then added the veg particles too. The veggies then bounce around and move in relation to the invisible 3d version of Ivo and friends. I then composited this back together with the original footage in After Effects.

Live video with Sam Wilson and George Barton

Here is video footage of me performing live video animation with musicians Sam Wilson and George Barton for the Cherubim music charity event in Tisbury, Wilts. in September of 2017.

I was using the live video performance software Isadora. All the video was being triggered and changed by the sound levels of the two percussionists. For example in Fairwell to Stromness, the background colour and video brightness were subtly undulating with peaks in the volume of the marimba. I was also using the program to count the peaks and then change to a new piece of antique stock footage once it reached a certain number.

Collision 2017 at Southbank Centre

Every year the Southbank Centre ask a group of artists to come together on a collaborative workshop environment to exchange ideas and become friends. In turn each artist is asked to bring someone that they would like to spend the week experimenting with. Southbank chose Jasper Hoiby, a brilliant double bass player from Denmark. He chose to collaborate with me and the result was an excellent week of playing with live video and looped bass.

I used some software called Isadora, which is an esoteric live video program and was playing mostly with the idea of Jasper’s bass sound dictating what was happening on screen using specific frequencies as triggers. The results you can see in the video.

Give Me Back My Broken Night – Deptford

Here I produced drawings for a live theatre event where the participants were taken on a futuristic tour of Deptford and asked to imagine the future for better or worse. My task was to (extremely) quickly sketch what they were discussing so that the results could be beamed back to them over the 3G network and appear as if by magic via a little projector system they were carrying with them.

The groups then came back to the base in Deptofrd Lounge to meet and discuss the visions and see the drawings on the big screen.

I worked alongside Sergio Camera and all drawings produced by Sergio and myself can be viewed here – HERE (Tumblr)

Animated stars

Here is an excerpt from a 30 minute film to which I added the animated cartoon-like concussion stars over the artist’s head.

The original footage was from a TV feature about the artist which he the asked me to augment so that it could then be featured in an exhibition.

Carnival mural at the Chateau

One of the first times we visited The Chateau was to paint a massive mural on the barn doors that have now become Angel’s parents house. The doors are now part of the moveable kid’s area for the weddings.

Working together with Sophie Baker we took this design from sketch form to scaling up onto the doors and painting it. It took a couple of days to paint, in between the eating and drinking that tends to happen at the Chateau.

Winslow Hall Opera: La Traviata

Set designs for Winslow Hall Opera production of La Traviata

The starting point in the design process was Brassai’s beautiful yet seedy photographs of Paris bars, brothels and bordellos of the 1930’s.

Winslow hall opera comes with restrictions of time, space and money, therefore it was important to be efficient in our use of these commodities. So it is a deliberately simple set that relies on creating notional suggested spaces with easily understood visual metaphors.

The emotional space of the story has been distilled down to three things. The Art Deco frame walls, the mirrors and the gold floor. Each in their way offering, in some cases quite literally, a reflection of the psychology of the narrative.

The Art Deco frame walls were inspired by the front windows of Claridges. They are basically see through, but create a facade. Which is an interesting metaphor for the life or a courtesan who creates such a facade every day. Yet as we see in Violetta’s case there is so much going on beyond the surface.

Similarly the mirrors not only directly reference the Brassai’s pictures of Parisian bar life, but they also help to confuse the line between surface and what goes on beyond. Allowing us to look back into the narrative from another viewpoint.

Lastly the gold floor is what turns it into a magical space symbolic of Violetta’s ambition for a better life.

Overall we are trying to create a sympathetic space to represent the mental state of Violetta with metaphors for the split personality that one might assume is highly necessary for a woman in Violetta’s profession.

Winslow Hall Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor

Set designs for Lucia di Lammermoor, the opera by Gaetano Donizetti for Winslow Hall Opera in September 2014.

Lucia di Lammermoor is a tragic bel canto opera along the lines of Romeo & Juliet, but set in the Scottish highlands. A ruined love story where boy meets girl, girl is forced to marry someone else by her brother, girl murders unwanted husband and dies, prompting boy to commit suicide.

I worked in collaboration with costume designer Deirdre Clancy and director David Penn, to come up with a design that could work in the challenging environment of the temporary marquee.

There were no wings or flytower and so the stage had to be entirely self contained. The solution we came up with was a system of panels that could be opened and closed in various formations to create many different notional spaces.

Michael Tanner’s review in the Spectator said “It is a triumph, almost without qualification. The staging is unobtrusive but perfectly effective, all the dramatic moments in a work full of them emerging with an impact I haven’t experienced before.” Rupert Christiansen says it was “wonderfully involving” in his four star review in the Telegraph.

Animation Workshop 2014: The Wildman of Orford

Presenting The Wildman of Orford, made during the Yoxford Arts Festival 2014 by me and a group of 10 to 18 year olds, in a 4 day workshop.

Using the cut-out style stop-motion animation, it tells the Suffolk tale of the Orford Wildman, who was fished out of the sea at some point in the 12th century.

Produced during a workshop that was part of an arts festival in Suffolk; my responsibilities involved writing the script on which the animation would be based; finding a suitable animation style; presenting it in such a way that a mixed group of 11 to 18 year olds could quickly grasp it and work together to produce a short animated film. I chose something akin to Terry Gilliam’s cut-out style, then led them through the process of animating it, making sure that they were all involved in the design and directorial decisions throughout. We successfully completed the film within the 4 days available.


Animation: Lydia Ackland-Snow, Theo Christie, Julian Edwards, Lewis Evans, Lizzie Noakes- Kettel, Jeremy Pickup and Sam Steer
Narration: Clive Merrison
Music: Lewis Evans, Anna Noakes and George Cook
Sound Recording: Ian Terry
Catering: Bess Noakes-Kettel
Thanks to: Suffolk County Council, NADVAS, Yoxford Arts Festival.

Ürth Mütha (2013)


Ürth Mütha is a sci-fi story of creation and Lokuña’s greatest quest – the fates of Earth and Ürth are in her hands.

It premiered at 00:55 on the 11th of December 2013 (Random Acts No.434) on Channel 4.

You can watch it in situe at

Full Credits:

Animation: Sam Steer
Screenplay: Rob Keery
Ürth: Aimée Amanda Edwards
Make-up: Natalie Sharp & Grace Lightman
Puppet Making Asst: Jen Cardno
VFX Asst: Lily Fang
Music: Serafina Steer & Benge

With special thanks to Victoria Manifold, Guy Nesfield, David Dixon, Sophie Baker, Sarah Chorley & Stephanie Walton at Shooting People and Nick at for the printing of the character’s faces.

For Shooting People for Channel 4

Here is a link to the Pinterest page where I collected images of an inspiring nature.

random acts urth mutha channel four stop motion animation


See also on YouTube and Vimeo.

Greenwich Council / Uninvited Guests: The Unsung

Making paper sculptures of memorial objects for members of the public at Greenwich and Docklands International Festival 2013

On June 22 & 23rd, 2013, Uninvited Guests invited people to join them to remember the local heroes of Greenwich and beyond. Participants told us about someone they wanted to honour, whose life or deeds they thought deserved commemorating. People proposed temporary memorials to their chosen friend, relative, public figure or person from history. This site documents the paper monuments that were made and unveiled in Greenwich Park over that weekend.

On Sunday 23 June there was a celebratory procession between these impromptu memorials to unsung heroes, both lost and living. You’ll also see photos of that Sunday procession, along with the texts spoken to dedicate these public monuments to those chosen, to remember them and mark their acts of kindness, self-sacrifice or care.

Further text and images from

Soho Theatre / Bristol Watershed: GMBMBN

Networked drawing Give Me Back My Broken Night, an experimental theatre piece that took place in London and Bristol.

It was organised by Fuel and Uninvited Guests.

My task was to listen remotely to conversations between audience members and actors who were out on a guided tour of a futuristic version of Soho & Bristol and whilst listening to what they said draw a quick sketch using a very basic networked drawing application onto a map I had drawn earlier. These images then appeared over a mobile phone connected to a mini projector on a piece of paper that the participants were carrying around with them.

And when finally they returned to the studio, all the drawings were projected onto their pieces of paper using a motion tracking system, and they were able to see them and discuss their experience as a group.

Fiction: Be Clear (2013)

RUNNING TIME: 3mins 2secs

A music video for the track ‘Be Clear’ for the band Fiction.

It is also available to watch on Youtube/Vevo.

This pop video uses green-screen, with the resulting footage synched with various data tracks gleaned from the original recordings and midi files I produced for this purpose – all jammed together to make a psychedelic trip through the mind of Fiction.

Shot on a Canon 5D and put together in After Effects.

Serafina Steer: Night Before Mutiny (Making of) (2012)

RUNNING TIME: 9mins 5secs

A live action “making of” video for the song Night Before Mutiny by Serafina Steer.

This is the making of video to the pop video directed by Jarvis Cocker for the first release on Serafina’s new album, which is due out in January 2013 on Stolen Recordings.

This was shot on Sony VX2100 at the London Field’s Lido. Featuring two synchonised swimmers from the British Olympic team.

Latimer / Brent Council / NHS: We Care (2012)

RUNNING TIME: 5mins 19secs

An animated film, part of a pack given to young people who have just entered the foster care system

This is an animation about foster caring that I made in conjunction with Latimer Creative Media and a group of young people in the care system in Brent.

Over a series of workshops with the young people, themes and characters were invented and the concept of the animation was born. Alongside these activities, we recorded a number of interviews with the young people where we got them to talk about the feelings of going into care and how they cope with it all. These interviews formed the underlying structure of animation which I then went away and produced.

It was a challenge to include so many different ideas and inputs into the same film, the brief was for a comic book style with a super-hero, that had to mention health and education, but be fun and also include these rather honest documentary style voices overs. The solution was to have our protagonist in a new foster home feeling somewhat trepidatious and for him to find this comic book which would show him lots of different scenarios where all the questions he was worried about would be answered. So that by the time he returned from his journey he was confident and happy to face the challenges ahead.

The resulting film is part of a pack given to young people who have just entered the care system, so that on the first night in a new home, they can watch the animation with their new carer, have something fun to talk about and have some of their fears allayed.

The Beast I Am (2012)


The Beast I am is a stop-motion animated film about a young boy’s journey through the labyrinths of puberty and on towards manhood.

It is my animated graduation film from the Royal College of Art set in the British Museum.

The original idea was inspired by a piece of music by R. Murray Schafer called ‘Theseus’. It occurred to me there weren’t that many films that dealt with this moment in a boy’s life when he is fast approaching puberty. The image of the Minotaur took on greater meaning as a symbol of manhood and masculinity. What would the boy do? Try and kill it, or see if it has anything to teach him.

It was shot on a Canon 1000d, using Dragonframe for capturing and After Effects to collate the stills and do a small amount of other post production, mostly adding blinks. It was filmed on a big metal table using the magnet tie-down system.

Angers Premiers Plans film festival 2013.
SICAF in South Korea.
Encounters in Bristol, UK.
As part of the London Short Film Festival as part of The Gothic and the Grotesque at the BFI, on Tues 14th Jan, 8.30pm.

sicaf entry for the beast i am stop-motion animation LSFF entry for the beast i am stop-motion animation EN13 entry for the beast i am stop-motion animation

A feature about the film at Dragonframe. The film on the British Council Film website.

Postman’s Familiar (2011)

RUNNING TIME: 6mins 44secs

The classic relationship between the Harlequin and the Pierrot, played out by a stop-motion rabbit and a postman.

Postman’s Familiar stop-motion animation came from collaboration with Serafina Steer. After a commission from PRS and Branchage Film Festival. The premiere performance took place in Jersey as a key headline event of the Branchage Festival, at Ebenezer Church in rural Trinity, and was followed by a performance at the Hackney Picture House, London on Friday the 13th of January 2012.

It has since been re-edited and had a new version of the sound track added, which was partly from a live recording taken during its re-premiere as part of the London Short Film Festival event at the Horniman Museum.

Courtroom Drawings

Commissioned by a well known gallery artist, the brief was to age the subjects by 30 years in the style of a courtroom sketch.

These pastel drawings were commissioned for an exhibition at Fondation d’entreprise Hermès in Tokyo in 2011 and represent artists who have exhibited in the space over the last decade.

Jotta / V&A: Live Animation

Designing and creating scenery for a live animation at the V&A late event.

Back in 2009 I was asked by to take part in an event they were curating at the V&A.

Ellie Logan, MPC and I contrived a live animation in which we made various paper scenes inside a scale model theatre V&A, then using lots of trickery the people from MPC made all sorts of characters appear live in our set and the result was projected in the atrium of the museum.

A lot of the character images came from designs sent by members of the public to the Jotta website.

Undertone (2008)

RUNNING TIME: 1min 44secs

a short animation made as an introduction to a longer video containing a live action fashion promo for a fashion label.

This stop motion animation uses miniature versions of their clothing designs.

I was experimenting with the illusion of moving between different dimensions. i.e. 2d to 3d animation (which then led onto live action).

It now features my own song ‘Commute’.

The Cavalier (2008)

RUNNING TIME: 4mins 3secs

A surreal animation to accompany the song Day-Glo by Serafina Steer

The Cavalier was shortlisted in the Rushes Soho Shorts film competition in 2008.

It started life as a series of pen and ink sketches which, once scanned, were cut out in Photoshop, then turned into a 3D model and animated in After Effects, partly because I was living on a boat in Spain and a stop motion film was therefore out of the question.

It has recently been re-rendered in HD with added blood and leaves. You can also watch an anaglyptic 3D version of this film here.

View The Cavalier IMDb page by clicking here.

Yoxfest Animation Workshop 2007: The Mysterious Story of Clarissa Rickets

A week long animation workshop for 11-18 years old.

For the Yoxford Arts Festival in 2007 I worked with a group of 11-18 year olds on an animated film. The story came from a local writer’s retelling of a ghost fable about one Clarissa Ricketts a local woman who allegedly faked her own death.

I chose the cutout style like Lotte Reiniger as I thought this would be relatively easy for the kids to understand. I gave them an overview of animation and how it works. Then we took the story and divided it into scenes which the different groups would work on. I explained the basics of the cutout style and showed how we would be filming it over a lightbox. The groups produced the characters and the scene backgrounds.

Then in small groups we shot the scenes with the children and I sharing responsibility for the animating. As much as possible I was try to make it so that the work was produced by the young people, only stepping in when there was a need to ensure continuity or consistency of the technique. So in general I took the role of executive director / producer and had the young people as directors of their specific scenes. Then once they were finished shooting their sections they went on to help the others finishing off the remaining parts.

The final film was edited together with music produced by another workshop from the festival and shown at the closing night party to great acclaim.

The Most Amazing Tiger (2007)

RUNNING TIME: 3mins 27secs

A tiger’s bittersweet escape from the circus. He became quite comfortable with his bourgeois lifestyle, yet knew that he must return to the wild to truly be a tiger.

A stop-motion animation made for the more humbly named song Tiger by Serafina Steer.

It appeared on her debut album as part of an extended CD.

It including a cameo appearance in the exciting finale by one of Eadweard Muybridge‘s horses.

Towards the Sea (2005)


He must take the whale to the safety of the sea, along the way he meets two magical ladies who promise to help and a big metal demon that promises to do anything but.

Towards the Sea was made in collaboration with harpist Serafina Steer and flautist Bernadette Danford. The music, Toward the Sea 3 for flute and harp by Toru Takemitsu, was played live by Sefa and Bernadette simultaneously as the film was shown.

It was my first stop-motion animation film and was shot on my bedroom floor in Camberwell.

The story was inspired by the music of the same name – a piece (of music) that was originally commissioned for the save the whale campaign. I took saving the whale quite literally, making this the task of the film’s hero.