Students at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) were introduced to new software and filming techniques and encouraged to produce an original piece of stop motion film after attending Aideen Barry’s Friday Lecture on 11 October 2019. The School of Art Friday Lectures are public events held at ECA where leading national and international artists and thinkers are invited to deliver a talk and then run a workshop with students.

Aideen is a visual artist who explores themes such as otherness, the uncanny and amnesia. Most of the work she creates uses stop motion film, interactivity and performance. During her talk, she discussed the importance of humour and slapstick as a tool to disarm the viewer and to provoke alternative perspectives on subjects such as mental health and inequality. A recent piece of performance practice was an examination of gravity based on her experience training at the NASA space centre.

After learning a little about the stop motion techniques, they set about creating their own films, including a looped video of the entire group playing the role of bowling pins being bowled over by a bag thrown by Aideen. To do so, they had to capture every potential movement between the bag rolling and the group simulating the act of falling. This was then set up as a series of small films projected onto their artist notebooks as a short installation piece.


“The students had an amazing time seeing the potential for this approach to film making, the potential for it in their practice and the various ways in which stop motion can be used to explore difficult and penetrating social issues.”

Dr Linda O Keefe, Head of Art

“The students had an amazing time seeing the potential for this approach to film making, the potential for it in their practice and the various ways in which stop motion can be used to explore difficult and penetrating social issues,” said Dr Linda O Keefe, Head of Art, “Aideen explores themes such as child-like wonder, technological marvels and scientific vanity, and there is a strong element of the theatricality in her works that play on concepts of liveness, the threat of failure in a performance, creating senses of anxiety in the audience.” 

“The Friday Lectures allow students access to a number of important artists making critical contributions to the contemporary art world,” said Linda.