Chance animations

by Sarah Harvey Richardson

Drawing inspiration from Dada methods, you will create an animation exploring chance and the (re)combination of existing images and text to create new surreal creations.

Don’t forget to submit your creations or post online and tag @natsatclub and @uolartsoutreach

Also, check out Cut-Up Poems and Dada Portraits Projects



What is Dada?

In the Dada manifesto of 1918, proclaiming his ‘Dadaist disgust’, Tristan Tzara (1896-1963) wrote, ‘DADA DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING’ (Seven Dada Manifestoes and Lampisteries, Tzara, Calder Publications, 1992, p4)

But let us see what Tzara meant by that… Dada emerged in Zurich in 1916 at the Cabaret Voltaire, as a reaction to the catastrophe, horror and destruction of WWI. It was not an art movement, but a revolt against all that bourgeois civilisation had achieved and held dear, lampooning bourgeois values of Family, Fatherland, Art, Culture, Religion and so on. Asserting that, ‘there is a great negative work of destruction to be accomplished’ (ibid, p12), the Dadaists set about clearing the decks, sweeping away the debris.

What’s the point of Dada now?

Dada has been used by artists over the last 100 years to explore media, culture and the subconscious. Artists include Lubaina Himid and Hannah Höch.


Materials needed

  • Newspapers/magazines
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Smartphone/stop motion app


Cut-ups on the move!

Make your cut-ups come alive by creating a stop-motion animation.

You can find free stop motion apps to download to your smartphone,
eg ‘Stop Motion’ Apple/Android

Find more info about stop motion animation here

1. Cut out your desired images and text from newspapers or magazines, draw your own, OR, use your pieces from Cut-Up Poems or Dada Portraits (before you stick it down of course!)

2. Open the stop motion app

3. Gradually move the pieces, taking photos at each stage

4. Export the finished film and share your artwork with us!

  • Does your film have narrative?
  • What is the structure of your story?
  • Did you use images and text?
  • How did you use composition to tell your story?

Take a look at these example animations made by Saturday Club members from the University of Leeds


Thank you for taking part in the University of Leeds Art&Design Saturday Club Workshop.

Submit your final animation or post online and tag @natsatclub and @uolartsoutreach


Resources & References

MOMA website – information on Dada – Tristan Tzara

William S. Burroughs

Lubaina Himid website

Tate website – Lubaina Himid

Nat Raha

Moma website – Hannah Höch

The Art Story – Hannah Höch

Find out more about the University of Leeds Saturday Club on our website ( and see more of our Club members artwork on Instagram @uolartsoutreach


Contributed by Sarah Harvey Richardson, University of Leeds Art&Design Saturday Club

Sarah is the Outreach and Saturday Club Project Officer at the University of Leeds and delivers the Club in partnership with the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies.

She has a background in gallery education and has previously worked at visual arts organisations including The Hepworth Wakefield and Pavilion, Leeds. Sarah is passionate about art, arts education and widening participation.

“It’s such an honour to be part of this fantastic project and to see our member’s confidence and creativity grow over the course of the year.”


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