Saturday, 21 January 2012

Post graduate animation research conference, Bournemouth

I've recently come back from a couple of post graduate research conferences. One was the first meeting of the animation post-graduate research group at the Arts University in Bournemouth and the other was at the Psychology Department at the University of East London. Working on a PhD can be quite isolating, no matter how supportive your supervisors and cohort are, and having the opportunity to present work in progress in a supportive environment of knowledgable peers is really helpful in building confidence and making connections with people dealing with the same issues as you. 

Bournemouth was a great explosion of animation PhD information. It was eye opening to meet so many people from all over the country working on different aspects of animation post graduate research. The day was the inaugural animation PGR group meeting (it has existed as a Google group for a few months, initiated by Dr Paul Ward who hosted the first meeting) and was an opportunity to present extended papers and get feedback. Normally at a conference the paper is only 20 minutes long, but here we could talk for 30 (plus plenty of time for questions) which was a practical way of getting into the meat of our phD concerns as well as using the audience as a sounding board.

The presentations were all very diverse in subject and approach, most were pure research but a few were based on practice led work so it was a nice mix. There was a brilliant feeling of camaraderie amongst the group and the feedback was all really constructive. Animation as an area is notoriously friendly (I always think it's because we're all so pleased to be away from our animating desks and in a bit of company...) which can sometimes lead to charges of not enough rigorous criticism but this definitely was not the case here. I came at with some good suggestions about how to improve my work and reinvigorated about working on my research subject.

There's going to be a second animation PGR meeting in London at King's College later in the spring, please join the Google group if you are interested in attending.

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