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Skeleton Heart is the collaborative pseudonym for artists Anthony Parker and Lisa Crawley.
Lisa was born in the south of England in Plaistow, East London in 1969 and Anthony was born in the North West of England in Morecambe, Lancashire in 1976.
As a child, Anthony’s first love was animation and he spent many hours alone in his bedroom drawing and making plasticine figures that he animated with a Bolex Super 8mm cine camera that his uncle had given him. His fascination with moving pictures also developed into a love for sci-fi B-movies and eventually the darker side of film making in horror films. As a young teenager of around thirteen, Anthony would stay up late watching Roger Corman’s interpretations of Edgar Alan Poe’s tales, becoming a fan of horror greats such as Vincent Price and Peter Lorre. Anthony’s fascination with the horror genre grew and his bedroom walls were soon adorned with pictures of Freddy Cruger and things that would give most youngsters (and some adults) nightmares! He was just as fascinated by the horrific creations in these movies as he had been as a very young child by the animated creatures that had inspired his love of drawing. This fascination grew and when Anthony dropped out of art school aged 18, he moved to London with the intention of finding his way into a career creating monsters and gore for movies! Fast forward to 2010, and Anthony has been working in the film industry as a creature and make-up effects artist for 15 years. His credits include work on Saving Private Ryan, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, Hellboy II, Dr. Who and the recent re-make of Clash of the Titans.
Lisa’s love for art also started at an early age. She loved making things from as far back as she can remember and she too spent a lot of time in her bedroom drawing and also sewing. When she was very young, this usually involving making clothes for her Action Man or a weird plastic monkey she owned, called ‘Dave’. Growing up in the 80’s, she made most of her own clothes. Something she says you could get away with back then! In her twenties, after meeting a great costume designer called Terry Emery, she took his advice and gave up her job as a window dresser to go to college and ended up at the London college of fashion. Lisa has always had a love of animation, comics and fantasy films and counts Jim Henson’s creations from the Muppets to the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth as inspiration and reasons for her wanting to create her own work. She has also been hugely inspired by the work of artist Jamie Hewlett, particularly Tank Girl, and the work of Tim Burton. She started in the film industry around 15 years ago, working in the many different areas of creature effects. Any kind of puppet has always fascinated her and that is the main area she likes to work in. Especially anything to do with stop motion. Her credits include Hellboy II, Corpse Bride, Harry Potter, Dog Soldiers, Dr. Who and 28 Days Later.
Lisa and Anthony had previously worked together on many film projects over a period of 10 years and found they shared mutual interests and inspirations in many things from similar artists, toys, and animation to taxidermy, Victoriana and antiques. They eventually became a couple and in 2008, made their most life- like creation, their son Zack.
They had always enjoyed working together but had both become disheartened by many years of dealing with the creative compromises that can come with working in the film industry. In 2009, they decided to put their efforts into more artistic work and combine their creativity and skills, calling themselves Skeleton Heart. This has given them both a renewed sense of purpose with their personal art works. They feed off each others ideas and creativity, merging their individual styles and influences. The result are pieces that have a cartoon look with a distinctly darker side or ‘cute but creepy’ as they have been referred to by many.
Also check out Skeleton Heart’s website.