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Science and Media Museum

In Your Face featuring the all-new Aardman Expression Lab celebrates 40 years of Aardman

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For October half term (22–30 October 2016) the National Media Museum’s In Your Face exhibition joins forces with Aardman, creators of Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Morph and many more, to celebrate the famous studio’s 40th anniversary.

From 22–30 October some of Aardman’s best-loved characters from the past four decades will be popping up in the museum as part of the Aardman Expression Lab, which features a range of family-friendly activities, as well as a visit from the man who helped start it all in 1976—Aardman’s co-founder and Creative Director Peter Lord.

The Aardman Expression Lab takes place in the museum’s In Your Face exhibition galleries, where visitors can discover how animated creations communicate through facial expression, and how their faces are made.

Peter Lord, the man behind Morph (and many others), makes a special appearance at the museum on Wednesday, 26 October, to tell young visitors more about the fascinating Aardman story, their most famous characters and how they were created, followed by a screening of hit film The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (full event is suitable for ages 7+). Tickets can be booked online at £2 per person, or £5 for a family ticket for four.

Peter Lord said: 

“I’m delighted to be taking part in the In Your Face half term activities at National Media Museum and shall look forward to meeting all you budding animation fans! It’s great to be celebrating our 40th anniversary this year with our very own ‘Aardman Expression Lab’, which promises to be an entertaining outing for the whole family.”

Kate Burnett from the National Media Museum added:

“It’s an absolute pleasure to be working with Aardman and we’re thrilled that Peter Lord will be joining us, along with other artists from the studio. There are a whole range of family activities on offer as we take a fascinating look at animation and facial expressions throughout half-term week.”

In other events, artists from Aardman will be hosting free talks and demonstrations (Tuesday 25 and Thursday 27 October), visitors can take a behind-the-scenes look at the secrets of CGI animation, or add their own pictures and drawings to the Aardman Portrait Gallery. There will be a free daily cinema screening of Aardman classics with a live family quiz, plus the chance to see some of the original models used by the Bristol-based studio for their hugely popular films and TV programmes.

The In Your Face galleries continue to offer the full range of popular exhibits and displays exploring the most photographed, examined and expressive part of the human body, including artist Leo Schatzl’s Hit It! installation, and examples of special effects make-up from the National Media Museum’s Hammer Films collection.

The National Media Museum and In Your Face galleries are free to enter, and some of the half-term activities form part of Bradford’s Family Learning Festival, which takes place at different locations around Bradford from 17–30 October 2016 and includes two ‘Super Saturdays’ (22 and 29 October 2016).


Notes for editors

About Aardman 
Aardman, based in Bristol (UK) co-founded and run by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is a world leader in animation. It produces feature films, series, advertising and digital entertainment for both the domestic and international market. Their multi-award winning productions are novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterised and full of charm that reflects the unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the very special people who make up the Aardman team. The studio’s work is often imitated and yet the company continues to lead the field, producing a rare brand of visually stunning and amusing independent and commercial productions.

West Yorkshire Family Arts Passport
This October eight cultural partners (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds Libraries, Tutti Frutti, Carriageworks Theatre, City Varieties Music Hall, National Media Museum, the Lawrence Batley Theatre, and Eureka!) from the West Yorkshire Family Arts Network have joined forces to create the West Yorkshire Family Arts Passport: a special guide to some of the most exciting and varied family arts activities available in West Yorkshire throughout the whole October 2016 as part of the Get Creative Family Arts Festival. 

Generously supported by CapeUK, this exciting pilot will distribute ‘Passports’ to targeted schools across the region. From seeing a performance, to attending a workshop, or spending the day at an exhibition! There’s lots to choose from! Every time families visit or participate in an activity they get a stamp, and at the end of October participating families will be entered in to a prize draw to win a host of goodies from the organisations in this passport!