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Celebrating Joy Batchelor

Wednesday 1 October 2014, 7pm
Hungarian Cultural Centre
10 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7NA


Halas & Batchelor Collection celebrates 100 years since the birth of Joy Batchelor
A Moving Image, Joy Batchelor 1914-1991 by Vivien Halas

2014 marks 100 years since Joy Batchelor, the pioneering animator, was born in Watford. The daughter of a commercial artist and a former golf club manageress, Joy was brought up to believe that talent, ambition and hard work were paramount, and that a woman's place was not necessarily in the home. A gifted artist, Joy went to art school in Watford and was offered a place at the prestigious Slade School of Art, but unfortunately there was not enough money for her to attend. She found work at an animation studio creating films about a 'dreadful little koala bear'. Appalled at the quality of the films, she taught herself animation, and soon became so skilled that she trained her colleagues – and was earning more than her father.
Joy met John Halas (Halász János), an animator from Budapest, when she was looking for a better studio to work for. John was impressed by Joy's talent and intuitive sense of movement. He hired her and they both went to Budapest to work on the series The Music Man. Production halted because of the threat of WW2, and at the outbreak of the War, the pair returned to London where they both eventually found work creating animations supporting the war effort for J. Walter Thompson's advertising agency.

By 1940, they set up Halas & Batchelor Cartoons. Throughout its history, the studio always strove to pioneer new styles and techniques from paper cut-out figures to computer animation, and it went on to create more than 2,000 films over 50 years. The studio's best-known work is Animal Farm, regarded as the first British feature length animation, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2014.
Joy not only animated, designed the characters and wrote many of the early scripts – she was also a producer and director at a time when women in the animation industry worked mostly as painters and tracers. Even today, there are markedly less women in powerful positions in the film industry than men, so Joy Batchelor's career, as half of the Halas & Batchelor studio is extraordinary.
Vivien Halas will present her limited edition publication A Moving Image, Joy Batchelor 1914-1991, which celebrates Joy's energy and talent, and acknowledges her considerable achievements. Her critical eye ensured that standards at Halas & Batchelor Cartoons were high. Her drawing style shaped the studio, as did her talent for script writing and being able to take difficult subjects and make them accessible and entertaining.

Free but booking is required. Please call 020 7240 8448 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
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