Ash to Art: The Animation

In 2014, The Glasgow School of Art’s iconic Mackintosh Library burned down in a devastating fire. The tragic event was both a blow to a renowned institution, and to the wider artistic community. The fire destroyed hundreds of rare and archival books and materials, pieces of student art, and ravaged a whole landmark of 20th century architecture. The original fittings and furniture – unique and integral elements of the space - were reduced to a mass of charred wood. In a bid to help the Mackintosh Building to - literally - rise from the ashes, creative agency JWT London approached The Glasgow School of Art with an idea to ask 25 world famous, British artists to turn ash salvaged from the fire into art. Their artwork would then be auctioned to raise funds and publicity for the restoration of the Mackintosh Building. The School immediately gave the proposal their full backing.
Ash To Art features artworks created using charcoal from the remains of the priceless Mackintosh furniture which was destroyed in the fire. The Auction, which featured in The Guardian, raised nearly ¼ million pounds and included work from Grayson Perry, David Shrigley, Anish Kapoor, Jenny Saville, Joseph Kosuth, Alice Watt and Anthony Gormley, to name just a few.
As part of the project, JWT London commissioned Jelly London’s Futures director Sharon Liu to create a 1.5 minute stop-motion animation film to tell the story of the process leading up to the event, concluding with the amount of money raised. And, like the artworks, the film was made entirely using charcoal from the fire.
The film took just under six weeks to create and has been submitted for over 40 awards. Sharon drew around 600 frames for the project in total. The process can be seen here in a behind the scenes “making of” film with Sharon herself.
“Using actual charcoal from the fire is a brilliant idea. It turns a negative into a positive. I’m feeling very honoured to get involved with this project.” Sharon L

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