Studio Gilay was invited to curate and host a two-week residency at the Sydney Modern’s ‘Lewin Media Lab’, part of Art Gallery of NSW’s brand new northern building. With support from the AGNSW Learning team, Apple, Kirby Foundation and the National Space Society of Australia – young mob from Brewarrina and Mounty (Mount Druitt) were able to join us in a number of exciting workshops to learn more about a culturally informed animation workflow.
The workshops involved dance, digital art making, beat-making, field trips to cultural sites and delectable pastries. We were joined by the kinetic storytellers of Jannawi Dance Clan, the deadly-dynamic-dancer Kaleb Taylor, Uncle Kevin ‘Gavi’ Duncan and sound wizard JW Paton.
Following on from our work for Baiame’s Ngunnhu Festival, we built the workshops around Baiame’s relationship to Mt Yengo on Darkinjung Country and more specifically how we can respectfully weave cultural storytelling into the animated process.
On animation workshop days, the team explored Unreal Engine 5, continued building 3D environments and learned more about motion capture in UE5, and in particular the integration of Rokoko’s exciting motion-capture suit.
Amongst the models available to the participants were shields that Studio Gilay developed with Tommy Barker, shell models we developed for the Sydney Opera House, as well as models from our very own Un-Locked and Cooked.
A bunch of students also took the chance to flex their stylus with some mad frame-by-frame.
Each participant was gifted an iPad to continue sharpening their animation skills.
On sound workshop days, JW Paton, a prolific musician working out of Dharug Country, gave everyone a crash course on sound design and editing using Logic Pro. We took the iPads into The Domain for field recordings, capturing sounds from the natural and built environment.
The participants then built soundscapes for the Baiame’s World animation using their newly collated library of audio.
On dance workshop days, Katie Leslie, Dubs Yunupingu and Miah Wright from Jannawi Dance Clan alongside Kaleb Taylor took us back out into the beautiful sunshine in The Domain and passed down some beautiful dances and songs.
We utilised the full-body motion capture suit from Rokoko and live 3D rigs, including the rig we developed for Baiame. AGNSW arranged aerobic equipment, which brought the shrubbery and fallen logs to life in the form of crash mats and balance beams.
We took young mob from Mounty Yarns on an enriching excursion to Bulgandry Art Site. Uncle Gavi Duncan performed a smoking ceremony for everyone and then lead us towards a significant site on Awabakal Country.
Always a humbling delight to spend time on Country, to see the rock engravings that have endured to this day, as well as the natural art of the bush, from the stunning views of the valley to the insect etchings in the scribbly gums. The boys were quickly off to collect grass tree resins, fire sticks and some red gum sap for muck-around mouth numbing with those tricked into trying.
Studio Gilay is thankful to everyone involved in the residency. It was an inspiring and invigorating time. We wish all the best to the crews from Brewarrina and Mounty in their future creative endeavours! Huge shout out to Wesley McLeod, Sophie Todd, Lily Shearer, Eric Brown and everyone who helped out across the 2 weeks.
Director – Jake Duczynski (Gomeroi / Mandandanji)
Producer – Chloe Marshall
Studio Manager – Melissa Azizi
Unreal Artist – Jalamara Towney (Wiradjuri)
Procreate Artist – Zoe Velonas
Art Gallery of NSW