Mary Courtney &
"A being Objective" (aka "A Bee in Objective") is a slightly bonkers idea for an animation-film, which aims to extend, enrich and challenge the learning experience, both creatively and analytically. It centres around the word “objective” diving into a giant chemical flask and changing into the word subjective, whilst being observed by a crowd of bees. Its purpose is to playfully provoke thinking about the quest for knowledge and the role and status of subjectivity in the research process – and to bring creative drawing and thinking into the student experience.The tone of the animation is a mix of dream type imagery and photo realistic imagery and drawing, so that boundaries between the real and the imagined are shaken.
It involves collaboration between two outsiders: a professional film-maker-animator and an award winning poet-artist, along with academics and students across the disciplines of science, education and humanities.
Mary Courtney is a Coventry poet and artist who likes to experiment and encourage drawing and word-play. She is currently Leverhulme Artist in Residence in the Chemistry Department at the University of Warwick. Mary is the concept, script and character developer for the animation, as well as Project Leader, drawing contributor and conductor of drawing workshops.
Laurence Campbell is a Coventry-Cumbrian independent film-maker, animator and writer. He co-founded Anti/Type Films in 2009. His work includes writing and directing, documentaries and music videos. Laurence is the animator, model-maker and film-maker for the project, as well as the co-developer of ideas.
Rachel King is Assistant Professor in Creativity, Performance and Education at the Centre for Education Studies, has received a Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence, and is Trustee of "Kill the Beast" theatre company. Rachel helped set up and recruit for the bee drawing workshops and enabled student involvement in learning model making and stop-motion animation.
Solange Mouthaan is Associate Professor in the School of Law. Her teaching and research is in the area of international law, gender and armed conflict, in particular gendered consequences of armed conflict on children. She has really enjoyed taking part in the project and was amazed she could draw bees.
Charikleia Tzanakou is a Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies and is currently involved in a pan-European project promoting gender balance and inclusion in research. She is developing probing questions ready to host debate after the screening of the animation and has joined in one of the drawing workshops.
Patrick Unwin is Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Warwick Centre for Doctoral Training in Analytical Science. He is well known for developing world leading high resolution imaging techniques and works to the philosophy of thinking creatively and doing imaginative new experiments. Patrick has contributed a song and two bees to the animation, as well as setting up and encouraging scientists to join in a drawing workshop.
It has been really exciting (and fun!) to be part of a project that has brought together academics, students and other colleagues from often unconnected departments and disciplines, and do something refreshingly different from our norms.
- Patrick Unwin