This is a series made for a friend doing Fashion Promotion and Imaging for a Fanzine about the 60s and Fred Perry

This is my final outcome for the convergence/divergence project. I am pleased with how it has turned out, I wanted it to show the ethos of my best of British night. The purpose of the event was to showcase the best in British music that has come from or started different subcultures in the UK and also look at the fashions that came with it. This short film partly documents the night itself but also shows my views on the state of British music today, "the pride in being British in music is starting to die out". The film is accidentally narrated by Calum. I interviewed him on the night and I've picked out some of the best bits to guide you through the visuals. I wanted the film to be fairly short and to the point without long drawn out interviews, I've also used some fast paced collaged animations to join it all together.

For my Convergence/Divergence Unit I am exploring the convergence of music, fashion and art. I am hosting an event in Southampton where I will display, create and observe all of the above. The venue will host an exhibition of my work which is all inspired to some extent by Marcel Duchamp’s readymades. I aim to create an environment and atmosphere with music and art.

Here is the event’s description as seen on the invite.

Village Green: Best of British is a celebration of British youth culture from the sixties until now.

This one-off night is a hats-off to the music that makes up the patchwork of Britain. From the soul adopted by the mods in the sixties to the punk movement that shook up the nation in the seventies. We'll pay homage to the best of Mod, Soul, Punk and Britpop.

Soul Cellar will be decked out with memorabilia and contemporary British Pop Art.

My Heart's in the Highlands from Josh Whettingsteel on Vimeo.

Having completed my film, My Heart's in the Highlands, based on the poem by Robert Burns, I am very happy with the outcome and I have learnt alot in the process of making it. I feel it visually portrays the poem in the way I have interpreted the text. Originally the poem sparked off lots of ideas and I envisaged various ways of showing my ideas in a film, I have always been influenced by fast-moving, psychadelic videos and I'm very interested in the combination of film and animation. For example The Coral's video for 'In the Morning' has paint overlayed on each individual slide in the video which is very sketchy and purposely rough looking. I wanted my film to look classic and atmospheric in an old fashioned way but with elements of contemporary illustration. In all my work I am constantly seeking to successfully merge collage and drawing/painting. In an early critique it was brought up that the jerky nature of the collage sections was slightly unsettling in comparison to the drawn animation. I then proceeded to make this smoother and quicker in order to eliminate that problem, I also used a watercolour animation to link the collaged parts with the drawn sections to make it all run a bit smoother. Overall I am very happy with the combination of the two having completed the film. I feel the film doesn't lend itself to a particular audience as it has elements that could be appreciated by all ages although the fast moving nature of it may not be appropriate to young children. In context I feel the film would work well on television as an accompaniment to a poetry reading.

For the most part I have taken the narrative fairly literally by using shots of, 'mountains, high covered with snow', 'wild-hanging woods' and 'loud pouring floods'. These are accompanied by drawn animations of running deer which is clearly mentioned throughout the poem. I have created the character of a man saying farewell to the highlands, whom I imagined to be an old man and wearing classic winter clothing; hat, scarf, duffle coat. After a critique it was brought to my attention that a musical canon is very similar to the way the poem repeats it self and almost goes around in a figure of eight. Apart from repeating images of deer and snow covered mountains I wanted to create a metaphor for this and the beginning and ending of the poem. The snowdrop is a famous Scottish flower of the Highlands. I created an animation of the flower growing which I have repeated throughout the film as a metaphor for a musical canon and the repetition of the poem, also I reversed the animation so it looks like the flower is dying at the end of the film. I feel the poem is very sad and this represents that well I feel. Recently I got a response from Matthew Richardson, an illustrator who I have alot of respect for artistically, after I had sent him the link to my film. He kindly took the time to give me some feedback. He really liked the film and appreciated the effort I had put into it. His criticism was that the two elements of drawn animation and collage didn't compliment eachother too well and suggested keeping the styles separate as one is very jerky and the other smooth and flowing. But he understood that I was particularly trying to make them work together. This feedback came after I had finished the film and will help me for future projects using this medium. It also added to the constant debate of what was working well in my film, my peers had said they loved the collage and stencil parts and how it all worked togther but others had brought to light the issue of whether it was a comfortable viewing experience and I had to make alot of decisions throughout the making of the film related to this. Overall I feel I have compromised with both elements, creating exactly the kind of film I had set out to and the feedback from the final film has been positive.

I recently found out about Jonsi and Alex, they have some really beautiful works that I can take alot of inspiration from.

Jónsi & Alex have been making music together since 2003 when they first met in Boston, USA. Things ramped up in 2005 when Alex moved to Reykjavík, Iceland, and the pair started to create the visual art that would form the basis of their limited edition hardback book, ‘Riceboy Sleeps’ in 2006. They continued to make music at home in the periods between Jónsi’s touring and studio commitments with Sigur Rós, slowly building the substantial body of work that now forms the album Riceboy Sleeps.
and loud-pouring floods.

Farewell to the torrents

and wild-hanging woods

Farewell to the forests

Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow

A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe, my heart's in the Highlands wherever I go

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here, my heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer

The Country of worth
Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North

Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook

The Coral - "1000 Years" Deltasonic Records

This video from The Coral was very influential for my shots of the highlands and the atmospheric feel it creates, especially the panning shots of mountains.

Paddington Bear - A Shopping Expedition

The animation of Paddington Bear was very influential aesthetically for my project, I think the combination of real life and drawn images works really well, this is something I am very interested in taking further in the next unit.

Walking In The Air (from: The Snowman)

In the early stages of my film, a friend compared it to the snowman which is the kind of feel I wanted my film to have, I wanted the animation to look hand made and from a time gone by but with a modern feel which I have incorporated with the collage and stencil parts.
Hi Josh
Thanks for the link. I thought the Highlands film was great. I can see it has been a hell of a lot of work.

If you can accept constructive criticism, I think the both the drawn animation (of the deer/flower - beautifully drawn with gracefull movement) and the sequences of collage (blocky and jerky) both work really really well. They are though, very different visual languages and I wonder if future work should separate out the two different ways of working.

I can see that that is precisely what you are trying to do, but my concern is that you might lose/detract something from both - the delicacy of the drawing and the power/punch of the collage - each cancelling the other.

Anyway, just thoughts for future development....................... as I said before, a lovely little film.

Good luck with the course Josh
Thanks for showing me the film and keep up the great work!

Best wishes


Here I have masked a previous deer animation and replaced it with different coloured watercolour washes.

In order to further show the repetitiveness of the poem I have made a slightly different replica of a previous collage and paint animation from earlier in the film. This time using photos from my manual slr and as the animation goes on I've used white paint circles to represent snow falling and then when the whole collage is covered I've used black and white photos to collage over that surface, creating three layers.

I have replaced the initial animation of the man from the poem who is leaving the Highlands. My original animation was very jerky and the figure looked as though he was walking towards the mountains which isn't the point of the poem,now he is waving to the far direction and then turning and walking towards the viewer as if he is leaving, I have taken the narrative more literally this time and I prefer the outcome.

I created two more deer animations to replace the previous one shown at the mid-point crit. These correspond to the narrative literally, "My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe". I have used alot more paintings to create a more fluent movement but without losing the hand made feel.