Odette May Andre


Containment, Transition and Story Telling Using Animations

Animation has already the ability to story tell through moving images. Stories and narratives are inherently already part of therapy. Producing images that move allows the story to be witnessed, worked through and allow for transformation of content. I have worked with non-verbal clients realising the difficulty of joint verbal communication and understanding; recognising an inherent need for them to be able tell their story. This need of expression away from the confines of words to imagery sent me on a quest to investigate the use of animation in art therapy and the medium’s quality for containment, transitions and storytelling. 

This multimodal approach synthesises play and other arts to produce nuanced personal stories; imbued with symbolism and metaphors that alter and change their potency when working with the slow process of animating. The act of re-witnessing and replaying ‘scenes’ at various speeds and witnessing the movement of the individual transitions desensitises material until worked through and integrated, this process continues into the editing which allows for transformation and new meaning.  

Animation cannot be owned, it is present only when witnessed. It creates a temporary image and a distinct time to be viewed in, unlike a still image or a sculpture where viewing can take place for as long as the viewer wishes. The temporary nature mirrors my own feelings around transitioning from the university.  This parallels thinking in practice for clients who will attend for a limited amount of time to art therapy and that time becomes condensed and capsulated within the art work.  


Title: Beyond Words – 3 animations including Covid response
Media: Digital animation and multiplane camera 
Year: 2020 


Title: The Ouroboros 
Medium: Digital drawing  
Year: 2020


Title: Keeping the wolves at bay 
Medium: Digital collage animating a found image  
Year: 2019 


Title: Warrior  
Media: Marker and paper  
Year: 2020 


Title: Caught and release 
Medium: Digital drawn animation  
Year: 2020 


Title: Mandala  
Media: Plants, wood base and phone camera 
Year: 2020 


Title: Covid response 
Medium: Digital layered animation 
Year: 2020 


Title: Smoke in the woods 
Medium: Image digitally manipulated for movement 
Year: 2019 


Title: Wolf 
Media: Multiplane camera and paper 
Year: 2020 


Title: Trees 
Media: Multiplane camera and paper
Year: 2019 


About Odette

Odette’s background is from education working in a social emotional mental health school, specifically for students with autism and ADHD. She is a photographer and a mixed media artist who usually uses clay, print, fabric, wool, paint and found objects. 

Odette achieved a first Honours BA degree from the University of Derby from the course Creative Expressive Therapies. Her masters course placement has enabled her to work with adults with learning difficulties, aged 18-21 attending a specialised private college. In her second placement year she was the trainee therapist for another social emotional mental health school for individuals accessing alternative provisions. Her clients predominantly have had a diagnosis of autism with other comorbidities; the non-verbal qualities of the art process, and imagery allows for communication when often her clients have been non-verbal or limited in verbal communication.

Copyright © 2020 Odette May Andre