South Shields artist gets set to see work go global

The work of a South Shields born animator is set to go global in a bid to encourage more young people into the arts.

Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:21 am

Award-winning Sheila Graber says she was stunned when she received an email from the Centre Pompidou in France asking if they could use her work.

Staff had come across her animated film on Dutch artist Piet Mondrian - who is the focus of a workshop called “Rythmes, formes et couleurs.” which is being vreated at the world famous centre.

The abstract artist was renowned for his work which he termed neoplasticism. This consisted of white ground, on which he painted a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and used the three primary colours.

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Sheila’s three minute film, created in 1978, has already been shown on the Open University, Blue Peter, The Tate Gallery and Mondrian’s home in the Netherlands.

It is now set to go worldwide thanks to the Centre Pompidou.

The art workshop dedicated to young people will kick off at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art from April to June 2017.

It will then travel in France and throughout the world for a duration of five years.

The short film will be shown to the children during the art workshop.

Sheila, who has won numerous awards for her animation work, said: “The email came out of he blue and it was a very big surprise.

“It’s really nice it is being used in workshops and with children.

“When I started out, I had an agent who would start putting my work around the world, so it was expected my work would be seen in other countries.

“But to have someone contact me out of the blue after spotting my work on You Tube was a nice surprise.”

The short film showcases Mondrain’s work through the ages set to boogie woogie music - a style which she was told was a firm favourite of the artist.

Sheila, who was a teacher at King George Comprehensive School when her talent was spotted, has created a number of animations including characters Mr and Mrs Brown from the Paddington Bear children’s TV series.

Her accolades include an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Sunderland for Outstanding services to Education and Art; Best Digital Image Designer Category” at the North East and Border regional ceremony of the Royal Television Society and a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work.