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Creative commission – exploring cultural value


As part of our inaugural festival of ideas online this November, we launched a Creative Commission callout, to engage the artistic community in creating a short film about the value of culture.


Here’s more from Jason Kerley, selected for the final commission for the opening of the festival.

What does culture mean to you?
For a lack of a less naff way to put it: pretty much everything!

Although it’s tough, making a living in the creative industries is something I’m immensely proud of and don’t take for granted. On top of my work life, a good chunk of my free time is spent making and experiencing culture in a motley-mixture of its forms. From making and playing weird electronic sounds to visiting and putting on exhibitions, there’s not much I do that doesn’t benefit from a sketchbook in the back pocket.

What’s your background?
I’m an illustrator from Dorset who has worked his way up to Glasgow via London, picking up graphic design and animation along the way to help survive the perils of freelance life. It’s taken a long time, but I now draw and design full-time.

How did you respond to the brief by the Centre for Cultural Value?
Two friends of mine both sent me a link to the Centre for Cultural Value’s call out and I’m very grateful.

In many ways this is an ideal gig for me. The subject matter is something I’m already passionate about, and the work sits in the rare sweet spot of having both creative freedom and a challenging brief.

What has been your approach to developing your animation?
I outlined a loose narrative as part of my application, which has evolved (and continues to do so) through discussions. The animation shows a variety of cultural spaces that blend into each other. I have some ideas of what will be happening in each of the environments (gallery, theatre, street etc.) but there’s room for these objects and characters to change as the animation fleshes out.


The piece is made to a grid to give a graphic and geometric style, albeit a playful one. There are some limitations to the approach, but in a way that provides interesting challenges of how best to represent an object or idea with only a few simple shapes. The end result is something I hope will be an accessible and engaging reminder of the many forms culture takes, and the ways in which they affect the people that engage with it.

Art doesn’t have to be intimidating to make you think, nor does it need to be bereft of ideas to make you laugh. As with all of the work I tend to enjoy the most; I’d like for this animation to sit somewhere between silly and sincere.

Photograph by Alexander Hoyles.

Find out more about the full event programme and discover more of Jason’s work here.

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