Helen Mason - Founder/Project Lead
Helen Mason is a HPC registered Consultant Occupational Therapist
working in the South West area. She has had a varied career working
across physical and mental health settings within the NHS. Her
clinical experience includes working in the areas of adult
neurology, community paediatrics, burns and plastics, forensic
adolescent mental health, child and adolescent mental health
(CAMHS) and youth offending.
Helen believes in the use of relevant activity to promote positive
change and puts a strong emphasis on exploring activities, which
promote intrinsic motivation and occupational balance.
Inspired by her client's requests to use animation in their
Occupational Therapy sessions, Helen received funding from the Arts
Council England in 2005 to train in basic animation techniques,
enabling her to go on to develop pioneering work, using stop motion
animation techniques in therapy with young people and families
experiencing mental health and social inclusion needs.
Helen's collaborative work with the Royal College of Art, Animated
Exeter Festival, Freelance Animators and The Phoenix Arts and Media
Centre has enabled her to further her knowledge and skills within
Occupational Therapy practice. She has gone on to use these skills
within intra disciplinary work as a Consultant, developing
techniques for use within a range of therapies including Systemic
Family Therapy, Creative Therapies, probation and social
Helen sits on the advisory board for the Animated Exeter Festival
and is also the national CAMHS representative for the College of
Occupational Therapists Specialist Section in Mental Health.
Alongside therapeutic practice, Helen has also worked as a workshop
tutor for the Animated Exeter festival where she has worked with
children from mainstream education, young offenders and families.
She has also been using her animation skills during her sessional
work with The Youth Inclusion Support Program (Exeter YISP).
Her experience of using animation to complement both education and
specialised therapeutic practice has been instrumental in
developing a personalised style of using animation in clinical
practice, and she is keen to support practitioners in using
animation to meet the interests and needs of their clients.
Helen is currently in the process of developing several practice
models to support practitioners, from a range of therapies in
developing skills using animation as a tool in their work. Her
company AnimationTherapy Ltd, which was set up to receive the NESTA
grant for innovation in mental health, continues to develop new
ways of using animation in clinical practice , providing community
inclusion and in reach projects using animation as a modern tool
for expression, healing and change.
Professor Joan Ashworth - Animation Expert
Joan Ashworth is an Artist working in moving image with a
background in stop-frame animation. While studying Graphic Design
at Gwent College of Art and Design, Newport, she was introduced to
animation both drawn and stop-frame. She embraced animation as a
means of expression.
Later, Ashworth studied at the National Film and Television School,
alongside Nick Park, graduating in 1987 with her short film 'The
Web' based on Mervyn Peake's 'Titus Groan'. 'The Web' was shown at
film festivals worldwide, winning the Mari Kuttna Prize for Best
British Animation and broadcast on Channel 4.
After graduating, Ashworth co-founded 3 Peach Animation through
which she directed many commercials, title sequences and stings for
TV and cinema including the opening titles for Tim Burton's 'Batman
1'. Ashworth joined the Royal College of Art (RCA), London, in 1994
becoming Professor of Animation in 1998.
Since joining the RCA, Ashworth has made stings for BBC1's
Christmas campaign and contributed to the Ceremony of Innocence
CDRom based on Nick Bantock's books, 'Griffen' and 'Sabine'.
In 2002, Ashworth completed her 10 minute film 'How Mermaids
Breed', inspired by Bronze Age Cycladic fertility figures, the
drawings of Henry Moore, and Birling Gap Beach, Sussex. The making
of 'How Mermaids Breed' was the subject of an exhibition 'Shaped by
Water' held at Bridge Gallery, Phoenix Arts Centre, Exeter in
Ashworth has been involved in Animation Therapy for three years as
an expert advisor on animation and working with therapists to
explore ways to use the unique challenges of animation to enhance
and support their practice.
Current film project
'Mushroom Thief' - A short film on the
pleasures and dangers of stealing mushrooms.
Technique: Pixillation and stop frame animation set in a lush
meadow. To be completed 2009.
'How Mermaids Breed'
(2002) Film 10 min. Screened in competition at
festivals worldwide. Prizes include Black Nights Animated Dreams
(Estonia) prize for Best Story and Fantoche (Switzerland) Jury
Prize for Poignant Inversion of Myth.
'Eggs, Fish and Blood'
(1999) Film 1.5mins. Film exploring gestation.
Screened in competition at Hamburg Kurtzfilm Festival, Germany;
Bradford Animation Festival, On/Off Across Conference, London
'The Web' (1987) Film 18mins. Based on
Mervyn Peake's 'Titus Groan'. Shown at festivals worldwide and on
Channel 4. Prizes include Mari Kuttna for Best British
Rosemary Kingham - Systemic Supervisor
Rosemary is a UKCP registered Consultant Systemic Psychotherapist
currently working in the South West of England CAMHS.
Rosemary has a number of qualifications including a PQ Diploma in
Systemic Practice from Bristol University, an MA as a Systemic
Therapy Teacher, Trainer and Supervisor from Northumbria University
and a PQ Diploma in Systemic Psychotherapy and Practice-Teaching,
Training and Supervision from Kensington International Consultation
Centre. In addition to this, Rosemary has received a PQ certificate
in Drama Therapy from the Roehampton Institute, London, and is
trained in Root Cause Analysis. As part of her clinical work
Rosemary has chaired an internal investigation into a child
Rosemary provides therapy, consultation and supervision in her
current job and is particularly interested in finding ways to
integrate systemic practice and creative therapies in work with
children, young people and their families.
Previously she worked for the NSPCC for nine years, as a therapist
working with survivors of abuse, especially sexual abuse and
domestic violence. She also worked for a charity: Survivors of
Child Abuse-SOCA, as a Family Therapist and as an Employee
Assistance Therapist, offering short- term therapy to individuals.
Rosemary advocates that therapists need to discover new ways to
reach people who would benefit from therapy, advocating Animation
Therapy as a 21st century tool.
Kari Nygaard - Workshop Animator
and Co-writer of the Technical Toolkit
Kari Nygaard has a background as a Cultural
Programmer, educator and Animation Artist. Originally from
Stavanger, Norway, she holds a Bachelor of Time Based Media and a
Master of Culture Theory. With main interests in the field of
moving image programming and education within youth and social
inclusion initiatives, she has been developing and delivering arts
and cultural programmes in schools, museums, festivals, and other
cultural organizations in England and Norway for the past 15 years.
She is working as a tutor for Bristol School of Animation,
University of the West of England and as a visiting lecturer in
Animation for Faculty of Creative Arts, Weston College.
Dr Jennifer Creek - Academic mentor (Therapist's
Jennifer Creek qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1970 and
as an Art Therapist in 1974. She has a Masters degree by research
from the University of Manchester and a teaching diploma from
Jordanhill College, Glasgow.
During nearly 40 years of practice, she has worked in the fields of
adult mental health, adult learning disabilities, Occupational
Therapy education, primary care, mental health promotion and
community development. Her main clinical interests are chronic
depression, women's mental health and mental health promotion. She
is particularly interested in the therapeutic application, the
value of activity and the use of creative activities in therapy.
She has written and spoken extensively on theory and practice in
Jennifer has been the leader of two Occupational Therapy programmes
and helped to start three new programmes, in Scotland, Hong Kong
and England. She has taught on the European Masters in Occupational
Therapy programme and at the University of Malta. She has been a
guest lecturer in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the
Netherlands and Norway and a visiting scholar in Southern
California and New Zealand.
Jennifer is the co-editor of an undergraduate textbook,
'Occupational Therapy and Mental Health', which is in its fourth
edition and has edited or co-edited two collections of essays on
Occupational Therapy philosophy and theory - Occupational therapy:
new perspectives and Contemporary issues in occupational therapy:
reasoning and reflection.
For the past ten years Jennifer has worked freelance, undertaking
mental health promotion projects, consultation, teaching and
writing. She is a part-time Research and Development Officer for
the College of Occupational Therapists, a Mental Health Act Local
Commissioner and a partner of the Health Professions Council.
Sandra Salter - Animation co-ordinator
Sandra Salter (born Ensby), graduated from
the Royal College of Art in 1996 and has enjoyed a successful
career in the London animation industry with a BAFTA nomination in
2003 and a British Animation Award in 2008. She set up animation
company, Sweetworld TV, in 2005 with Yasmeen Ismail - a collective
of talent championing handcrafted animation techniques for
commercial projects, with a fair trade ethos. A prolific sketchbook
keeper, teacher and mentor - Sandra's latest work has included
working with Animation Therapy Ltd on 'Jake's Story',creating a
stop frame film which will form part of an anger DVD for young
offenders and their families.
Kee Hean Lim MSc, Dip COT, PG Cert H Ed, HPC Reg. -
Academic mentor (Family film project)
Kee Hean Lim is an Occupational Therapy Lecturer and Researcher at
Brunel University and is involved in teaching on both the
undergraduate and post-graduate Occupational Therapy programs. His
current research interests include, Occupational Therapy in mental
health, service user involvement and empowerment, cultural
awareness and competency, socio-cultural construction of knowledge
and theory and the utility of the Kawa 'River' Model. He is
currently undertaking his PhD, a longitudinal study exploring the
value of occupation in the recovery of mental health service users
within the Kawa Model framework. He is also currently the Education
Officer for the College of Occupational Therapists specialist
section in mental health.
Susannah Shaw - Therapist feedback
Susannah Shaw is an Animation Training Consultant for clients
including Skillset and the University of the West of England. She
is also Programme Developer for Animated Exeter, a festival that
takes place annually in the South West of England and is the author
of 'Stop Motion, Craft Skills for Model Animation'. She originally
trained in Fine Art, and became involved in animation and
filmmaking, as a Freelance Camera Assistant in live film and
stop-motion animation, working on and off at Aardman since the
Meghana Bisineer - Animator - Richard's
Meghana Bisineer is a Film Maker, Animator and Artist. She
presently lives and works in London. She did her degree in
Animation at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India.
She graduated with an MA, Animation from the RCA, London in
Meghana has written, directed and animated a number of short
animation films. These works have been screened in a number of
International film festivals over the years and tell stories from
Indian mythology, personal memory and fiction.
As a Freelance Animator, she has been involved in a number of short
film projects in varying capacities as Writer, Animator and
Designer. The clients involved include Channel 4, Amnesty
International and NSPCC among others. While some are animated
documentaries telling stories from life, others are fictional
shorts and public awareness films.
Meghana has been involved in education projects and leading
animation and drawing workshops at schools for varying groups of
people of all ages and backgrounds. She is also involved in part
time teaching at the drawing department in the Royal College of Art
for MA students from all design and art disciplines.
Meghana also does book illustrations and has recently illustrated a
book for young people telling the story of a family and cross-
racial adoption. She has a studio in London where she works on
large charcoal drawings and animations. Presently, Meghana has head
to India, where she has been invited to participate in a six week
Artist in Residence programme, which will end with a show in
The Animation Therapy team would like to
extend a special thank you to the NESTA Innovations in Mental
Health team, and the Mental Health Foundation for their foresight,
incredible support and guidance in making this project a
We would also like to thank the Exeter Phoenix Arts and Media,
Media department for supporting the project in its early stages.
Without the teams assistance in jointly signing the seed contract
enabling the proof of concept to be written and to grow into
Animation Therapy Ltd, this project would not have happened.
There are many individuals and
organisations that have given up their free time or gone the extra
mile for the project and we would like to thank them for their help
Siobhan Edwards, Laura Dowson, Kathryn Hill, Andrea Robinson,
Richard Starzecki, Daphnie Cotton, Caroline Clarke, Joshua Gaunt,
Gavin Eddy, Liam Black, Ross Gardner, Sue Britton, Hilary Bailey,
Lena Speak, Michael Oliver, Henrietta Island, Jonas Hawkins,
Patrick Cunningham, Stuart Mitchell, Alaisdair Wilson, Sam
Sherlock, Sarah Ross, Angus Mason, Sally Heard, Fiona Crump,
Christoph Steger, Comfort Arthur, Sarah Wickens, Susie Templeton,
Bluechilli marketing, Forkbeard Fantasy, Animated Exeter, The
X-Centre Exeter and The Cornwall School for Social