Joan Ashworth is an artist/ filmmaker whose animated films have explored gothic fantasy, swimming meadows, and the fertility of mermaids. Her films have been screened at international festivals and events winning a number of awards and commendations. Ashworth has a background in making commissioned titles, commercials and graphic identities for cinema and TV, and more recently focused on her own short films, and collaborative research projects such as CHILDSPLA. Ashworth also heads up the internationally renowned MA Animation Programme at the Royal College of Art, which she joined in 1994. Ashworth has lectured internationally in Taiwan, China, Trinidad and India and is developing Serious Animation as an area of research. She is developing Visual Writing to support the creative developments in writing for animation.
Ashworth studied postgraduate filmmaking at the National Film and Television School graduating in 1987. Ashworth co-founded 3 Peach Animation through which she directed many projects including the opening titles for Tim Burton's Batman 1. In 2002, Ashworth completed How Mermaids Breed inspired by Bronze Age Cycladic fertility figures and the drawings of Henry Moore, and co-founded Seed Fold Films production company. In 2010, Ashworth completed Mushroom Thief, shot on location in a lush green meadow in Lancashire, UK. Ashworth is currently in production of a documentary film on Sylvia Pankhurst, suffragette and artist, featuring original interviews with Richard Pankhurst, Sylvia’s only son.