The Bristol Away Day – Creating Characters from Clay

Posted in: Gold Events, Skills Development, Work Experience

The Gold Away Days

In each academic year of the Gold Scholarship, the Gold community ventures out for an ‘Away Day’. In first year, we visit London for the day; in second year students visit Bristol and final year students gather together in Bath. Each Away Day has a purpose. In the case of the Bristol Away Day, it was an opportunity to develop our creativity.

Getting to Bristol

For me, the day started at 7:30am as I got ready for the day ahead. I caught the bus to the train station and hopped on a train to Bristol Temple Meads. After a 15–20-minute walk, I arrived at M Shed, a free museum displaying Bristol’s music, art, and culture as well as its involvement in trade. There, we were greeted by an assortment of breakfast rolls and ice breaker activities within our peer groups.

Aardman Studios

The aim of the day was to practice and develop our creativity skills. We were lucky enough to experience a workshop with Aardman Studios, a Bristol-based animation studio. They are known for their stop-motion clay animations including Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, and Chicken Run. In the workshop, we learnt how to make a clay head of Gromit as well as a full-body model of Chaz from Morph.

We were then assigned the real task of the day: to create a modern fairy tale appropriate for children and their parents, constructing characters out of clay, and a pitch for the story to be made into a film. During the break for lunch, we could brainstorm and explore the museum for inspiration.

The Presentations

One of the highlights of the day had to be the presentation of each peer groups modern fairy tale. These new adaptations included a hilarious re-enactment of Rapunzel trapped in her tower - but her evil stepmother is a Family Channel Youtuber who forces Luscious Linda to film 'Get-Ready-With-Me's. A charming prince arrives on his electric scooter and attempts to climb her hair - tearing off Linda’s wig and revealing her true identity as Bald Belinda. The evil stepmother is ‘cancelled’, and the prince and the princess lived happily ever after! A retelling of Pinocchio introduced us to Pino the Elephant and Chino the Giraffe, in a wholesome story of Pino learning to love and embrace what makes him different – his long trunk. The tale of Larry the Snail and Sam the Lizard was a recreation of The Tortoise and The Hare. But here, the animals are university students trying to make it to their 9:15 lecture, by attempting to catch the U2 bus. Sam the Lizard gets distracted, misses the bus, and now must climb the hill leading to campus - what obstacles will he face along the way?

Concluding the Away Day

After watching everyone’s presentations, we ended the day by making our way across to Za Za Bazaar, an all-you-can-eat buffet providing food from 5 continents - ‘India, the Far East, the Caribbean, Tex Mex, the Americas, and Europe’. It was a lovely way to conclude the night, trying foods from all over the world, and even being greeted by a Lunar New Year procession, with music and Chinese dragons. But of course, the night wasn’t complete without a visit to the dessert section and grabbing a sweet treat (or two!).

All of a sudden it was 7pm - the whole day had gone in a flash. The Bristol Away Day was a great opportunity to hone our creativity skills, coming up with hilarious stories and characters, and presenting our ideas in fun, unique ways! Whether you consider yourself a creative and artistic person or not, the day was definitely one to remember.



Posted in: Gold Events, Skills Development, Work Experience


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