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Animation (MA)

Gabe Clarke

I'm Gabe Clarke (24) an animator from North London.

The first animation I ever made was a response to a school trip to the Auschwitz concentration camp during my A-levels. Seeing my drawings come to life felt so beautiful and tragic and sad.

I make animation to express myself in a way that I'm incapable of doing with words.

After my A-levels, I studied animation at the Arts University Bournemouth where I massively developed my technical animation skills, but felt restricted creatively. I graduated during covid (2020) and started the animation course at the RCA a year later.

Portrait photograph

My animation understands my subconscious better than I do.

Working with both visuals and sound, my work is often exploring some facet of my subconscious. For example, my final piece for A-level art was, what I thought was, a film about purgatory. But, looking back, I realise it was a film about the divorce of my parents and the strange feeling I had of being in-between the two of them.

Because of this, my work often embodies these ethereal, dream-like qualities.

Every animation has to feel like an experiment or an exploration aesthetically and thematically. At the RCA I've learnt to approach my work intuitively - I don't always need to know what I'm exploring. I need to stop thinking and let my subconscious mind bleed into the work.

I'm currently interested in collaborating with musicians/sound artists to create immersive audiovisual experiences. My first experiment with this will be at the RCA in person show at the Truman Brewery.

The Circle of Light
Opening shot gif
Opening shot
Multiplane and lighting set up 1/2
Multiplane and lighting set up 1/2
Multiplane and lighting set up 2/2
Multiplane and lighting set up 2/2

Film Description

The Circle of Light is a multimedia animation which is the continuation of the development of a unique style of paper cut-out animation which I developed in my first year here at the RCA.

In order to expand the paper cut-out approach from my first year, I built my own DIY multiplane camera to enable more three-dimensionality to the visuals and to make the set up much more accessible for the use of multimedia.

The story of the film responds to my personal experiences with agoraphobia and how I've been able to get much better at dealing with it by exposing myself more and more to the outside world. As well as a new found fascination with crowds and all the contradictions they embody.

In terms of my experiences with agoraphobia, what has especially helped me is the feelings of connection and community I've experienced by seeing more of my friends in person. This journey of personal development culminated with what felt like a spiritual experience I had at a music festival. From inside this large crowd, I felt part of this greater entity. Like the energy of all these people was being channelled in one harmonious direction. As part of my dissertation I did a lot of research into how trance-like states can be developed through audiovisual experiences and the apex of these encounters result in this powerful feeling of oneness. And I believe that my experience in this crowd was comparable.

This encounter resulted in me becoming fascinated by crowds and communities and all the contradictions they can embody: crowds and communities can be warm and welcoming but also cruel and alienating, they can be loving and protective but also hateful and dangerous.


Animation involving a range of mediums: paper cut-out, digital hand drawn and oil paint on cell.
'Animating Light'Wronglight was my first full film involving my unique style of paper cut-out animation where I place the layers of paper directly over a light. One of my course mates described my style as 'animating light', which I really like.
One of my first attempts at the unique paper cut-out style.


Paper cut-out animation